Rex Tillerson learned he was sacked from Donald Trump tweet

Sergio Conner
March 13, 2018

President Trump has removed Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State, replacing him with Central Intelligence Agency head Mike Pompeo. Unlike Tillerson, a former businessman who lacked government experience when Trump picked him previous year as secretary of state, Pompeo is well aware of the ways of Washington.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate after a hearing scheduled for April, Pompeo will be taking over a State Department shaken by the departures of many senior diplomats and embittered by proposed budget cuts. We got along quite well but we disagreed on things. Trump tweeted early Tuesday, stating CIA Director Mike Pompeo will now head up the State Department.

Mr Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry". When you combine the countless number of questions and scenarios on the North Korea issue - and compound that with issues like renegotiating NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), the Iran nuclear deal, what to do about Syria, and the always complex challenge of Russia - President Trump needs a secretary of state he has confidence in. Trump tweeted at 8:44 a.m. EST. "With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process". He "did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason" for his firing, the spokesman added. In February 2017, for example, The Washington Post's Carol Morello and Anne Gearan reported that "the Trump administration in its first month has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the preeminent voice of USA foreign policy, curtailing public engagement and official travel and relegating Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a mostly offstage role". Tillerson will be "much happier now", Trump said. Trump has said he wants to bring back waterboarding. "I wish him all the best in his future endeavors".

The biggest shakeup of Trump's Cabinet since he took office in January 2017 was announced by the president on Twitter as his administration works toward an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.

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Even Tillerson himself had been reluctant to accept the position.

There were also reports of unconventional meetings Pompeo held at the CIA, including with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, and William Binney, a former National Security Agency whistleblower who claims someone with access to the Democratic National Committee leaked its data rather than Russian hackers. The Post's Gearan, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker reported on October 4 that "the already tense relationship between the two headstrong men - one a billionaire former real estate developer, the other a former captain of the global oil industry - has ruptured into what some White House officials call an irreparable breach that will inevitably lead to Tillerson's departure, whether immediately or not".

Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn and press secretary Sean Spicer.

"Rex is a very good man, I like Rex a lot".

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