Trump fires Tillerson, selects Pompeo as new Secretary of State

Trump fires Tillerson, selects Pompeo as new Secretary of State

"The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason" he was sacked, said Steve Goldstein, under secretary of state for public diplomacy and Public Affairs in a statement to ABC News.

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.

Many Democrats in Congress expressed dismay at Tillerson's firing, saying the change would sow more instability in the administration at a crucial time. But Republicans have just a slim 51-seat majority, and confirmation is not certain. Pompeo said he would consider reinstating it, although he couldn't imagine that Trump would ask him to.

"We disagreed on things", Trump said moments later, a diplomatic version of a hard relationship with his top diplomat that included reports that Tillerson had called the president a moron in meetings with other officials. He was also one of the strongest critics of the Iran nuclear deal. The president regularly criticizes the agreement as a bad deal and has repeatedly threatened to end it. I wanted to either break it or do something, he felt a little differently. "With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process".

Early previous year, Haley and her husband led Pompeo and his wife on a personal tour of the U.N. Security Council. "I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture".

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden called her an "unsuitable" nominee immediately after Trump announced his decision.

Over months of speculation about Tillerson's future, Haley had been rumored as one possible successor.

As much as anyone in the administration, Pompeo has mastered the art of communicating with this president.

Pompeo, 54, has been a key defender of the president's policies, from Iran to China, and has shown a fierce loyalty, including a proclivity to indulge some of Trump's views on controversial issues such as Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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Pompeo, however, will need to find a way to grapple with a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining Tillerson with Twitter posts, current and former USA officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in the first meeting of the U.S. National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S. October 5, 2017.

A government outsider lacking diplomatic experience, Tillerson arrived at the White House after decades at Exxon Mobile, rising from engineer in 1975 to chairman and CEO in 2006, overseeing vast expansion of the company's operations worldwide. "The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason".

Mr Tillerson is the latest in a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Mr Trump took office.

Goldstein said, "We wish Secretary Pompeo well".

The move came on Tuesday when President Donald Trump announced he would replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA director Mike Pompeo, paving the way for Haspel, who was second-in-command at the agency, to take over. Trump tweeted early Tuesday, stating CIA Director Mike Pompeo will now head up the State Department. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!" Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!

According to the White House, Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo. Tillerson continued to insist his relationship with the president was solid and brushed off rumors of strain between them.

Mr Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Mr Trump's announcement.

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