For those playing the home version of Tillerson Jenga, it appears at last the tower is falling, and the ex-big oil CEO will be put to pasture. This marks the—third? but who’s counting—major cabinet shakeup in the Trump administration not even a year into his term.
The New York Times reported that Mike Pompeo, currently running the CIA, would take the reins at State, and Sen. Tom Cotton would accept the CIA position. Of course, the reports are “anonymous” but this seems very believable, and probably leaked by the White House itself.
John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials. Under his plan, the shake-up of the national security team would happen around the end of the year or shortly afterward.
Rex Tillerson’s departure has seemed imminent for months, only waiting for a break in the news cycle and seemingly-endless self-destructive comments, tweets, and congressional failures from Trump and the White House.
Moving Cotton to CIA is a good move politically. Arkansas is a deep red state, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson would appoint a Republican Senator to fill Cotton’s seat until November 2018.
Asked about a possible move, Caroline Rabbitt, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cotton, said, “Senator Cotton’s focus is on serving Arkansans in the Senate.”