Trump raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he unexpectedly announced in a tweet that he had fired Tillerson and tapped CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russian Federation meddling Intel agencies to brief officials from all 50 states on election threats Russian Federation probe complicating House hearing on threats facing USA: report MORE as his next secretary of State.
More shakeups could be on the horizon for President Donald Trump's administration.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders forestalled the rumors on her Twitter account.
"Im really at a point where were getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want", Trump said, moments after announcing Tillersons firing as well as his plan to install his close ally, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in the job.
But the air of stability the White House tried to project felt more like a pause than a permanent shift.
Since the beginning of President Trump's time in office, to even before during his campaign, Trump has had his fair share of position openings. The person wasn't authorized to speak publicly about private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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Trump's administration has set records for turnover among senior administration aides. "Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!" He has told confidants he wants to rid himself of staffers who hold him back.
Several people, including John Bolton, a former USA ambassador to the United Nations whom Trump has met several times since assuming office, have been listed by the media as potential candidates for McMaster's job. Officials said personal tensions have led McMaster to be sidelined in some internal discussions, including a recent meeting on Venezuela sanctions, with Kelly taking on a more active role in foreign policy decisions.
Kelly has been credited with imposing order on the chaotic West Wing, but his relationship with Trump has also come under strain.
Kelly has also reportedly had clashes with White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, with the president evidently tasking Kelly to find a way to oust his son-in-law and daughter.
Information for this article was contributed by Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Philip Rucker, Carol D. Leonnig and Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post; by Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times; by Brian Bennett of the Los Angeles Times; and by Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News.