President Donald Trump tweeted in response to Thursday's widespread reports that claimed he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, calling it "FAKE NEWS!"
"It's laughable," Tillerson told reporters Friday as he welcomed the Libyan prime minister at the White House.
Media organizations, including The New York Times, Fox News and CNN, citing anonymous sources, said Tillerson was on his way out and CIA Director Mike Pompeo would likely replace him.
Trump acknowledged that while he and Tillerson disagree on some issues, they work well together and that Trump has final say.
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS! He’s not le… https://t.co/tYYnq58Zmk— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1512158902.0
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to squelch the rumors during a Thursday press briefing.
“As we’ve said many times before, as many of you love to write these types of stories when the president loses confidence in someone, they will not serve in the capacity that they’re in,” Sanders said Thursday. “When the president loses confidence in someone, they will no longer be here.”
Tales of Tillerson's departure are nothing new.
In October, NBC News reported that Tillerson "nearly resigned" over frustrations with Trump's approach to foreign policy.
NBC News also reported that officials said Tillerson called the president a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon and that Vice President Mike Pence intervened and convinced him to stay.
Tillerson characterized the report as erroneous and as an attempt to sow divisions within the administration.