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

President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning said he was replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with former CIA director Mike Pompeo

Tillerson was also often out of step with Trump on foreign policy, most notably with issues involving North Korea. Tillerson has urged Trump to stay in the landmark nuclear disarmament deal, but the president has vowed to withdraw by mid-May if it is not renegotiated. "We weren't really thinking the same".

While Tillerson's laconic Texas drawl was at odds with Trump's style, the president may have found his mirror image in Pompeo, who shares his penchant for being combative and opinionated.

Mr. Trump released a statement saying he was "proud" to nominate Pompeo to replace Tillerson. "But that is why we do our job here and they do their job at the White House". Last week, Trump's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn resigned after the president announced he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

For Trump, the shift comes at a critical time for several key foreign policy priorities, including a decision on whether to withdraw the USA from the 2015 Iran deal that Pompeo has called "disastrous".

Last week, it looked like Mr Tillerson was unaware of the President's plan to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Pressuring North Korea with sanctions and other isolation measures had been a top Tillerson priority, and he had been one of the administration's more vocal advocates for holding talks in some form with the North.

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

Trump tapped the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

Tillerson is set to replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. He will do a fantastic job!

While in Kenya, Tillerson canceled events he was scheduled to undertake in Nairobi on Saturday, the second day of his three-day visit to the country.

The circumstances behind the firing were unclear. The Post's Gearan, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker reported on October 4 that "the already tense relationship between the two headstrong men - one a billionaire former real estate developer, the other a former captain of the global oil industry - has ruptured into what some White House officials call an irreparable breach that will inevitably lead to Tillerson's departure, whether immediately or not".

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, using a pejorative nickname for Kim. Tillerson exits shy of 14 months on the job, making his one of the shortest tenures for a secretary of state in US history.

The Washington Post first reported the news, which the president quickly confirmed in a tweet.

The top U.S. diplomat's team said he was feeling unwell on Saturday and later in the weekend the state department said he would cut short his tour by a day.

Mr Tillerson's departure caps months of friction between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive. Trump "thought it was the right time for the transition with the upcoming North Korea talks and various trade negotiations", a senior administration official said.

Early in 2018, Trump said on Twitter that Mr Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a sceptical Mr Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran and other world powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and he has taken a more hawkish view than Mr Trump on Russian Federation.



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