Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

President Trump fires Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

President Trump fires Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

The president tweeted Tuesday morning that he tapped Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson.

President Trump on Tuesday unceremoniously fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson while the cabinet official was on tour of Africa, making yet another abrupt departure in an administration with a dizzying turnover.

Tillerson faced a much tougher confirmation that most nominees to be secretary of state past year as Democrats grilled him about his oil business ties to Russian Federation and refusal to recuse himself from energy-related matters related to Exxon Mobil while in the job.

Trump's Twitter announcement came only a few hours after Tillerson landed in Washington after the trip, which had been cut short.

Mr Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Mr Trump announced he would meet with North Korea's leader and become the first sitting United States president to do so. "When you look at the Iran deal: I think it's bad, I guess he thinks it was OK". "I thought it was awful, I guess, he feels it was OK". "With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process". "I can tell you who is going to win", the president told Forbes magazine during an interview later. Rex is a very good man. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.

There had been reports in recent months that Tillerson could be replaced but senior State Department officials said he did not know why Trump pushed him out and that he had meant to stay in the job.

Though Trump and other officials said he'd been considering replacing Tillerson for some time, the president said he made the decision only recently and "by myself". Here are five reasons why Trump may have fired Tillerson.

The official said Trump wanted Pompeo in place before the USA president's planned talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and trade negotiations.


Tillerson leaves behind a short-lived and mixed legacy at the State Department, where he sometimes ran afoul of the White House and stoked criticism for his handling of the department. But Tillerson continued to hang on, pointing out that his doubters had yet to be proven right. It was later announced he was flying back to Washington DC on Tuesday.

It was reported past year that Rex Tillerson had used that word to describe Donald Trump, a clear indication of the hard relationship the two men had.

He was distrusted by veteran State Department employees, who viewed him as an outside interloper with little affinity for the organisation he headed.

Haspel's likely promotion reflects Pompeo's and Trump's sympathetic approach to torture. Trump wrote in his tweet. Now it's clear he had one move in particular in mind.

He said Mr. Pompeo "will continue our program of restoring America's standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Then CBS News "Face the Nation" anchor Margaret Brennan reported that the secretary had not yet spoken with the president and only found out about news of his firing when the public did.

In December Mr Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key U.S. demand that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

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