While acknowledging leaking the plan to journalist might be designed as an overt “signal to [Tillerson] that it is time to go,” the Times reports that the “shake-up of the national security team,” apparently being orchestrated by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, “would happen around the end of the year or shortly afterward.” 

Shortly after the news broke, Trump was peppered by reporters about the veracity of the story at the White House. The president, however, only responded with a vague, “He’s here. Rex is here.”

According to the Times:

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