Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly have forged a “suicide pact” in which all three members of President Trump’s Cabinet would leave if one of them becomes a target of the president.
News of the agreement surfaced amid renewed questions about Tillerson’s future in the administration.
The secretary of state has frequently clashed with Trump, and NBC News reported Wednesday that Tillerson threatened to resign in July after the president’s controversial speech to the Boy Scouts.
Tillerson, who served as national president of the Boy Scouts from 2010 to 2012, was said to be upset with Trump’s speech, which many criticized as too political. After the address, the secretary of state reportedly threatened not to return to Washington from his son’s wedding in Texas, but Mattis and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly talked him out of it. Kelly is now White House chief of staff.
A U.S. official told BuzzFeed that Tillerson would likely remain in the administration because of his agreement with Mnuchin and Mattis.
Tillerson sought to quiet any rumors about an impending resignation Wednesday morning, saying he has never considered leaving his post.