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

Mike pompeo

Mike pompeo

After 14 months of private tensions and public disputes, President Trump on Tuesday ousted his secretary of State, replacing Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a major shake-up of his national security and foreign policy team....

There was the usual clutch of polite, smarmy statements from all sides, but the sacking of Tillerson was abrupt and humiliating, redolent of Trump's reality TV style famously showcased in The Apprentice.

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According to the Washington Post, Trump asked Tillerson to step aside last Friday.

'Gina, by the way, who I know very well, who I've worked very closely with, will be the first woman director of the CIA, ' Trump said.

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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 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The president said he was naming Dr. Gina Haspel, Pompeo's deputy at the Central Intelligence Agency, to succeed him as the next director.

Tillerson's head was on the chopping block - as is everyone's in the Trump circle - from literally the day he took the job, given the President's style and mercurial temperament.

Much like his quick choice to take the meeting with Kim Jong-Un, Trump chose to remove Tillerson from his Cabinet post by himself, according to the AP.

Trump says he and Pompeo have a "very, very similar thought process". In a remarkable statement, the State Department made clear that Tillerson did not quit, saying he "had every intention of remaining", and is "unaware of the reason" for his dismissal. "I wish him all the best in his future endeavors". When Trump ultimately accepted Kim's invitation for a meeting, Tillerson was in Ethiopia, though he said he spoke with Trump about it shortly before it was announced. 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.

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".

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Mr Trump publicly undercut Mr Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times and Mr Tillerson appeared out of the loop this month when Mr Trump announced plans to meet with North Korea's Kim.

Tillerson is the latest high-ranking official in the Trump administration to resign.

The White House distanced itself from those remarks, and a few days later, Tillerson himself backed off.

The rumors came a month after a bombshell NBC News report revealed Tillerson privately railed against the president and called him a "moron" at a closed-door meeting at the Pentagon.

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. The president and his surrogates consistently criticized reports that Tillerson would not last long - reports that now appear to have been well-founded.

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