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‘You’re wrong’: Tillerson responds to reports he will be fired

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said there was no truth in reports that the White House had a plan to fire him and replace him with CIA chief Mike Pompeo.

Directly addressing the issue at a news conference at NATO, Tillerson dismissed last week’s reports that have overshadowed his week-long trip to Europe, as allies yearn for stability in U.S. foreign policy.

“This is a narrative that keeps coming up about every six weeks and I would say you need to get some new sources because your story keeps being wrong,” he told reporters when asked whether the White House was pushing him out.

While Trump said last week he was not leaving and Tillerson said the reports were “laughable”, Trump has also said he alone determines U.S. foreign policy, saying in a tweet on Friday: “I call the final shots.”

In a trip that will also take him to Vienna and Paris, Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive who has been at odds with Trump over issues such as North Korea, has sought to reassure European governments and U.S. diplomats that he is in control.

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In Brussels on Tuesday, Tillerson said the U.S. State Department, which still has top positions unmanned, was “in a much better position to advance America’s interests around the world than we were 10 months ago.”

Under the White House plan reported by Reuters and other media last week, Tillerson would be replaced within weeks by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Trump loyalist and foreign policy hard-liner, under a White House plan to carry out the most significant staff shake-up so far of the Trump administration.

U.S. Republican Senator Tom Cotton, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress, would be tapped to replace Pompeo at the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said.

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Tillerson, 65, has spent much of his tenure trying to smooth the rough edges of the “America First” foreign policy that has alarmed Trump’s allies, but the president has publicly undercut the secretary of state’s diplomatic initiatives.

At the EU and NATO this week, Tillerson espoused a more traditional U.S. foreign policy, defending the Iran nuclear deal agreed by world powers in 2015, warning of a more assertive Russia and saying he had become “quite close” with Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska and Ken Ferris)


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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