Monday 19 March 2018

Rex Tillerson

Trump sacks Tillerson as secretary of state

WASHINGTON, 5 days ago

US President Donald Trump today sacked his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and decided to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
The change of Trump's top diplomat comes as the US is engaging in delicate, high-stakes negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear programme and the prospect of Trump meeting Kim Jong Un this spring, said a CNN report.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he respected Tillerson's "intellect" and said he "got along well with Rex."
"I think Rex will be much happier now," Trump said.
Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service on Twitter, Mr Trump said the new state secretary would do "a fantastic job".
In tweeting the announcement earlier Tuesday morning, Trump announced that Gina Haspel would be the next CIA director, the the first woman to take the job.
Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.
The Department of State said Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was "unaware of the reason" for his firing.
Under Secretary Steve Goldstein said: "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security."
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Trump said his differences with Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry".
"We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things," said the president.
"When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. "I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same."
Discord between President Trump and Rex Tillerson peaked — and turned public — in October when NBC News reported that Tillerson called Trump a "moron" in a summer Pentagon meeting.
During a hastily arranged statement after the report broke, Tillerson insisted he enjoys a close relationship with Trump and called him "smart" — but he would not directly deny that he'd called Trump a "moron."

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