The Trump administration is ending the year in typically controversial and chaotic fashion, with secretary of state Rex Tillerson reportedly about to leave and the President criticising the UK Prime Minister on Twitter. Max Liu discusses the latest odds in the Trump Specials markets.
"The President was ambiguous when asked about the rumours, telling reporters: 'He's here. Rex's here.' So Trump isn't denying that Tillerson is on his way out, he's simply stating that, for now, the secretary of state remains in place."
Donald Trump is odds on to leave the White House before the end of his first term as President, after another tumultuous few days. Trump is [1.97] to fail to see out a full term and it appears that his administration is about to lose another high-profile figure.
In the UK, politicians from all parties are united in their condemnation of Trump, first for retweeting a leading member of the Islamophobic Britain First organisation; secondly, for hitting back at Theresa May via Twitter. In Washington, Trump has other priorities as rumours fly that his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, will soon leave the government.
The Texan executive was a surprising choice for the role, beating competition from, among others, Mitt Romney, but Tillerson fit Trump's vision of an administration made up of individuals from outside the Washington political establishment.
However, Trump and Tillerson have been in disagreement about policy almost from the moment they started working together. Relations reached fever pitch a couple of months ago when Trump challenged Tillerson to an "IQ contest" after the secretary of state reportedly blasted the president, calling him a "moron."
On Thursday a White House spokesperson acknowledged that the president and his secretary of state have "areas of disagreement when it comes to policy" but denied that Tillerson's exit was imminent.
The President, however, struck a more ambiguous note when asked about the rumours, telling reporters: "He's here. Rex's here." So Trump isn't denying that Tillerson is on his way out, he's simply stating that, for now, the secretary of state remains in place. If he does go, then Tillerson is likely to be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo.
In an age when it feels like nothing that happens in the White House is surprising, it's worth remembering that the president and secretary of state are supposed to be very close. Tillerson's direct predecessor, John Kerry, was allowed to pursue his own vision while also operating as President Obama's eyes and ears abroad. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2012, Obama appointed Hillary Clinton and the pair formed an effective partnership, even after they'd fought a ferocious contest to win the Democratic nomination for president.
With this in mind, the dysfunctional relationship between Trump and Tillerson is a new low for the administration. Will it be the final shocking reminder of Trump's unsuitability for his job? Or will he, over the next four weeks, find another shocking way to round off his first year in office.