Trump axes Tillerson, names CIA's Pompeo chief US Diplomat

Posted March 14, 2018

Tilllerson and Trump had been at odds over their opinions on the Iran nuclear deal and the handling of diplomatic relations with North Korea, with Trump saying the two "felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same".

The tensions peaked last fall amid reports Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" and considered resigning.

Russian Federation "has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS", Pompeo said during his confirmation hearing in January of 2017. He lives in a fantasy world of his own making, a nonstop television show in which he is the only star; he doesn't want people who keep telling him that the real world looks somewhat different or that extravagant gestures might have severe consequences.

The former oil executive said he would remain at the department until March 31 to conclude an administrative handover, but that Deputy Secretary John Sullivan would take charge.

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"Would you define this White House as stable?" a reporter followed up.

The White House then fired Goldstein just hours after Tillerson was let go on Tuesday morning.

Former U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy said Trump's firing of Tillerson is not a surprise, but will likely mean the State Department's career staff could be even more excluded from preparing for a Kim-Trump meeting. However, Goldstein's statement refuted that claim, stating that "the Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security".

Hours later, Mr Goldstein was himself fired. Inside the State Department, Tillerson's allies have long whispered about the rumors of his imminent departure, referring to "Rexit". Compare Tillerson's response to that of Pompeo.

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Tillerson's insult to Trump's intelligence came after heated discussions about Afghanistan policy, in which Trump had pushed to end the USA presence altogether and flirted with outsourcing the military counterterrorism campaign to private contractors.

"He must be asked whether he will put our nation's interests above loyalty oaths to the president's personal agenda", Pingree said in a prepared statement. The White House stated that Tillerson had been informed of the president's decision last Friday, but Goldstein's dispute of that claim and the close proximity to Tillerson's firing to his Russian Federation remarks fuel speculation that his comments on Monday contributed to his termination. His stance created another messaging problem for a White House that has often struggled to project a united front.

Trump has also faced a cloud of ethics allegations surrounding other members of his Cabinet, including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin - the latter of whom is said to be on thin ice with the president.

"Pompeo, coming in from the Central Intelligence Agency, is up to speed on this, and that's very important for Trump to have", he said. Trump is also said to respect Pompeo's military background and West Point pedigree.

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