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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: 'I intend to be here for the whole year'

Suggesting reports of his political death have been greatly exaggerated, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CNN on...

Posted: Jan 6, 2018 10:39 AM
Updated: Jan 6, 2018 10:39 AM

Suggesting reports of his political death have been greatly exaggerated, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CNN on Friday that he plans to remain in his position through 2018.

"We had a very successful -- in my view -- year 2017, pivoting our policies and helping our partners understand those policies," Tillerson told CNN's Elise Labott in a wide-ranging interview. "We're now into the implementation and execution against those policies."

Tillerson fought with Trump last fall and was rumored to be leaving

The secretary of state spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview Friday

"I think we're going to have a very productive 2018," he added. "The State Department gets stronger every day, understand what we're trying to do. And I look forward to having a very, very successful 2018."

Pressed on whether he'll be around to enjoy that success, Tillerson said, "I intend to be here for the whole year."

Tillerson has been plagued with rumors of his impending exit since October, when NBC News reported that he called President Donald Trump "a moron" during a meeting at the Pentagon.

The secretary of state has declined opportunities to explicitly deny he made the statement, but his spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, has done so publicly.

In November, CNN reported that the White House was contemplating replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, citing multiple government officials. But Tillerson remained in the job, and has continued to meet regularly with Trump.

Tillerson said Friday that he doesn't know why the rumors and reports have continued, but insisted that Trump has never given him any indication his job is in jeopardy.

"None whatsoever," he emphasized.

Tillerson acknowledged, however, that he and Trump have "different management styles," and that he's had to adjust the way he communicates with the President.

"I'm here to serve his presidency, so I've had to spend a lot of time understanding how to best communicate with him so I can serve his needs with information," said Tillerson, who was CEO of ExxonMobil before joining the administration.

"I do think one of my roles is to always give him all sides of the issues even when I know it's not the side that he really wants to consider," he added. "I think it's part of making good decisions that I know he at least has had visibility to all aspects of the decision he's about to make."

Tillerson said he plans to build on his ability to communicate with the President in 2018, but defended Trump's performance in the first year of his administration.

"He is not ... typical of presidents of the past," said Tillerson. "I think that's well recognized. That's also the why the American people chose him."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
Unassigned00
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