Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump fires Tillerson at State, replacing with CIA's Pompeo

Trump fires Tillerson at State, replacing with CIA's Pompeo

President Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson Tuesday and is replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

He announced that deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel will become the new director, and the first woman so chosen.

Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump's announcement. "Congratulations to all!" Trump tweeted. We got along quite well but we disagreed on things.

Trump cites their divergent opinions on the Iran nuclear deal. "I thought it was awful, I guess, he feels it was OK". I wanted to either break it or do something. And he felt a little bit differently. "So we were not thinking the same", Trump said.

Tillerson "had every intention of staying" at his job before he was sacked.

"The State Department is in disarray because of President Trump and Secretary Tillerson's misguided efforts to reform a Department they fundamentally do not understand", he said.

A government outsider lacking diplomatic experience, Tillerson arrived at the White House after decades at Exxon Mobile, rising from engineer in 1975 to chairman and CEO in 2006, overseeing vast expansion of the company's operations worldwide.

A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday but did not want to make it public while he was on a trip to Africa.

Goldstein added in his statement that Tillerson is "unaware of the reason" he's been removed but said he is "grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling".

Goldstein says Tillerson will miss his colleagues at the State Department and the foreign ministers he worked with.

Pompeo, a former U.S. Army officer and Harvard Law School graduate who represented a Kansas district in the U.S. House of Representatives before being tapped to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, is seen as a Trump loyalist who has enjoyed a less hostile relationship with career spies than Tillerson had with career diplomats.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in the first meeting of the U.S. National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S. October 5, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest in a long string of staff departures under President Donald Trump. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well".

Early in 2018, Trump said on Twitter that Mr Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a sceptical Mr Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran and other world powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and he has taken a more hawkish view than Mr Trump on Russian Federation.

"This is a level of discussion, this president is going to drive this effort, this negotiation, but it will take a team to build out the picture, so that we put the president in the best position so that he can achieve that outcome", Pompeo said on Sunday. A CIA spokesman said when asked about the issue a year ago that Pompeo's decision was aimed at stopping the "dangerous leaks and insider threats" that he saw emanating from the agency when he was a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Sean Spicer Resigned as White House press secretary in July, ending a turbulent tenure after Trump named Scaramucci as White House communications director.

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