Trump fires Tillerson as Secretary of State and names Mike Pompeo as his replacement
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump fired via Twitter his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and named outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 March 2018
Since his appointment last year, Tillerson had been openly against the White House on numerous occasion, as such straining his relationship with Trump, however, Tillerson’s spokesman said that he had no idea that he was out of a job until he saw the tweet thanking him for his service.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Trump said his differences with Tillerson came down to personal “chemistry”. Even though he said that they were getting along well, they had different opinions on a number of things and used the Iran deal as an example, for which Trump was vehemently against.
Tillerson is the latest in a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Trump took office in early 2017.
Under Secretary Steve Goldstein commented on the matter that the Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security. Goldstein himself was fired later on Tuesday by the White House.
Tillerson said later in a news conference that he had received a call from the president on Air Force One after midday, about three hours after Trump fired him via tweet.
Last week, Tillerson was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was caught unaware by Trump’s agreement to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, in a stunning turn of events.
While Trump was attempting to establish a rapport with Tillerson, at the same time he was growing closer to his Central Intelligence Director Mike Pompeo, who delivered personally the President’s daily briefings and managed to carve out a spot by his side. On Tuesday, he became the new Secretary of State.
In the wake of this reshuffle, the world is turning to the confirmation of the new CIA Director, which is not expected to go smoothly as Trump’s pick, Gina Haspel, is likely to be asked about her role in the CIA’s interrogation program, during 2003 and 2005 in a secret CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded, according to current and former US intelligence officials.