Secretary of State Tillerson says he is 'not going anywhere'



Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be "taking a little time off" amid rumors of a rift with President Donald Trump and a staffing shortage at the State Department, as well as several crises overseas. Trump also has sided with Saudi Arabia in its feud with Qatar even as Tillerson has sought to mediate the dispute between the two United States allies. Nauert said that Trump addressed the Boy Scouts Jamboree at Tillerson's invitation، but the secretary could not attend.

Despite all the allegations, however, Tillerson said Wednesday that his relationship with Trump was "good". "And I'll just leave it at that", she said.

One source of acrimony is a severe staffing shortage at the State Department - only 10 of 128 positions have been filled, reportedly due to differences of opinion regarding appointments.

The change in Tillerson's tone followed a stressful week for the secretary of state.

Tillerson is also reportedly upset about Trump's increasingly public feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reportedly calling the president's comments about Sessions unprofessional - leading some to speculate Tillerson himself might be the next member of Trump's staff to resign.

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CNN reported during the weekend that Tillerson was considering leaving his post, saying that the former ExxonMobil CEO was growing frustrated with the Trump administration, but Nauert denied that report.

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Tillerson was "very upset at not having autonomy, independence and control over his own department and the ability to do the job the way the traditionally done". "He recognises that. He's deeply engaged in that work".

"He just came back from that mega trip overseas, as you all well know", the spokeswoman added, referring to a trip that took Tillerson to the G20 summit in Germany, as well as to Turkey, Ukraine and Gulf countries.

It has gotten so bad that The Washington Free Beacon reports that the State Department is in "open war" with the West Wing.