Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Trump Fires Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of state after just 14 months on the job.President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he is replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, minutes after The Washington Post first reported that he had ousted Tillerson on Friday. The White House confirmed that Trump on Friday asked Tillerson to step down, saying the president wanted a “new team in place” for an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
The State Department suggested in a statement that followed Trump’s announcement that Tillerson did not know he’d been fired. Tillerson ”had every intention of staying,” the State Department said. “The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason.”
Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he “made that decision by myself” to remove Tillerson, and noted that “Rex, as you know, was not in this country” at the time. He alluded to their disagreements, saying, “we were not thinking the same,” and predicted, “Rex will be happier now.” Tillerson cut short a trip to Africa, returning to Washington Monday night. Reporters traveling with him said that they had no idea the secretary of state had been fired on Friday.

We got off the plane with Tillerson less than four hours ago. There was zero indication on flight home that this was imminent.
Trump announced that he plans to nominate Gina Haspel, now deputy CIA director, to replace Pompeo as head of the spy agency.Most of Trump’s statement focused on Pompeo. He mentioned Tillerson at the end.  “A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well,” Trump said.
Notably missing from Trump administration statements on the secretary of state was something from Tillerson himself.Just a day ago, Tillerson made a statement holding Russia responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, putting him at odds with the White House, which did not single out Russia.
Tillerson’s departure comes amid reports of his disappointment with the turbulent atmosphere in President Donald Trump’s White House, as well as mounting criticism of his performance as the country’s leading diplomat and his drastic reduction of civil servant positions at the State Department. His job security had always seemed precarious, but on Nov. 30, The New York Times reported that the White House was considering forcing out Tillerson and replacing him with Pompeo.
The White House and State Department pushed back on the report, but that day, neither Trump nor White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would definitively say whether the president had confidence in Tillerson.“He’s here. Rex is here,” Trump told reporters.“When the president loses confidence in somebody, they’ll no longer be here,” Sanders said at that day’s White House press briefing.
Trump and Tillerson’s relationship has long been filled with tension. Tillerson reportedly considered resigning after Trump’s widely criticized speech to the Boy Scouts of America in July.On Oct. 4, NBC News reported that Tillerson called Trump “a moron” during a meeting with top officials over the summer.
Following the report, Tillerson held an unusual press conference, in which he showered Trump with praise, affirming that the president is “smart.”Notably, he did not dispute whether he called Trump “a moron,” leaving that job to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who claimed that “the secretary does not use that type of language.”
Attacking the reporting as “phony,” Trump later said he appreciated Tillerson’s comments and that he had “total confidence in Rex.”But less than a week later, he suggested in a Forbes magazine interview that if the story were true, he should “compare IQ tests” with Tillerson.“And I can tell you who is going to win,” he added.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed Trump’s comment was “a joke” and said that he “never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent.”
Trump has repeatedly undermined Tillerson’s diplomatic efforts in attempting to quell North Korea’s nuclear aggression, with the two men often contradicting each other and the president lambasting Tillerson on Twitter.

I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man...
Tillerson’s days as secretary of state seemed numbered from the start. A government outsider lacking diplomatic experience, he arrived at Foggy Bottom after decades at Exxon Mobil Corp., rising from engineer in 1975 to chairman and CEO in 2006, overseeing vast expansion of the company’s operations worldwide. Trump picked Tillerson for the State Department job after a lengthy public vetting of prominent candidates, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Tillerson faced opposition during his Senate confirmation process, with lawmakers expressing concerns over his lack of experience in government and diplomacy, and strong ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin from years of business in the country.  Even Tillerson himself had been reluctant to accept the position. “I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job,” he admitted to the conservative news outlet Independent Journal Review in March.

Huffington Post

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