Podcasts: Is Trump Going to Fire Secretary of State Tillerson?

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Rex Tillerson at the State Department, December 1, 2017 (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

On Thursday “senior administration officials” told leading US outlets that a plan had been drawn up to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with conservative “hawk” Representative Tom Cotton taking over at the CIA.

So are the wheels in motion to push out Tillerson, given the revelation of his description of Donald Trump as a “f****** moron” — or maybe because Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner wants more leeway in his ad hoc missions on foreign policy, including encouragement of a tough regional policy by Saudi Arabia?

Or is a warning being given to Tillerson, who may have stepped back from his earlier intention to resign at the end of 2017, to play nice and not get in the way of Kushner or other Administration officials?

And — whatever the situation — has the Trump Administration’s foreign policy and diplomacy moved from the disfunctional to the dangerous?

I talked through the possibilities with Monocle 24’s The Briefing and with Austria’s Radio FM4 on Friday.

Listen to Radio FM4’s Reality Check from 12:17

Listen to Monocle 24 from 9:07

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.