Trump Today: Trump Today: President ousts Tillerson and says Kudlow has ‘good chance’ for White House job

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This column provides a daily update on key presidential actions as well as comments, whether spoken aloud or on Twitter, by President Trump. Like the stock market, the deadline for Trump Today action is 4 p.m. Eastern time, even as we acknowledge that substantive news can and does occur after hours.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he decided “by myself” to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as he told reporters Larry Kudlow had a “very good chance” at becoming his White House economist, and visited California for the first time as commander-in-chief.


Addressing reporters, Trump called Tillerson “a good man” but didn’t hide their disagreements over policy. “When you look at the Iran [nuclear] deal, I think it’s terrible, I guess he thought it was OK,” Trump said. “I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently.”

Trump tapped CIA Director Mike Pompeo to head the State Department, and nominated Gina Haspel to run the CIA, where she is now deputy director. Both posts require Senate confirmation. Tillerson notably didn’t thank Trump when he gave farewell remarks at the State Department.

See: Tillerson lasted nearly 41 ‘Scaramuccis’ in the Trump administration.

Also read: Tillerson may have lost his job, but not his tax deferral.


Trump appeared to tip his hand about naming CNBC commentator and former Reagan White House budget office staffer Larry Kudlow to succeed Gary Cohn at the National Economic Council.

“He’s a very, very talented man,” Trump said. “I’m also speaking to many others but I think Larry has a very good chance.” Like Tillerson, Cohn broke with Trump over policy — in Cohn’s case, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Read: Here’s who should replace Gary Cohn in the White House.


In a call with Theresa May, Trump and the British prime minister agreed Russia must give “unambiguous answers” about how a chemical weapon came to be used against a former Russian spy and his daughter in England earlier this month.

He’d earlier told reporters “it sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have,” referring to the U.K. “As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be,” Trump said. Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found collapsed last week in Salisbury, poisoned with a military-grade chemical weapon.

See: Watch this BBC reporter straight-up ask Putin if Russia poisoned an ex-spy.


President Donald Trump talks with a U.S. border patrol agent while participating in a tour of U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.


Trump saw prototypes in California for his long-proposed border wall with Mexico and has a scheduled evening fundraiser for his reelection campaign and Republicans. Trump also took California to task over its “sanctuary cities” policies on Twitter. The administration has sued to block the state’s laws that extended protections for immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

“Thousands of dangerous & violent criminal aliens are released as a result of sanctuary policies, set free to prey on innocent Americans. THIS MUST STOP!” Trump said.

Read: Trump expected to raise $5 million in California.

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