Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired Tuesday by President Donald Trump following months of political disputes with the Oval Office. Tillerson allegedly found out by Tweet Tuesday morning though The Washington Post reports that the former Exxon executive was fired on Friday.
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) March 13, 2018
According to reports, President Trump made the decision himself and has already nominated former U.S. Representative of Kansas’ 4th District and current Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to head the State Department.
If his Senate confirmation is successful, Pompeo’s deputy director at the CIA Gina Handel will face confirmation in turn to become the first woman to head the CIA. Haspel is a respected 30-year veteran of the agency with involvement in clandestine matters, uniquely qualifying her for the nomination.
Pompeo said in a White House statement that if confirmed, “I look forward to guiding the world’s finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President’s foreign policy.”
Tillerson’s tenure as Secretary of State was marked by disagreement with President Trump, particularly on the issues of diplomacy with North Korea, tariffs, and the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Disjointed policy visions and preferences have become prominent this past week after Tillerson jumped the gun publicly blaming Russia for the Sergei Skripal double-agent assassination in London, which the White House has yet to do, preferring to hold its diplomatic cards close to the vest when it comes to Russia.
The Hill reports Tillerson is “unaware” of any specific reason for his dismissal and had “every intention of staying,” according to Undersecretary of State Steven Goldstein. Tillerson’s longevity in this position has been subject to speculation in DC since last year when the now former Secretary of State called the President “a moron.”
As for President Trump, he says “I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want,” adding, “But I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great secretary of state. I have total confidence in him.”
“I think Rex will be much happier now,” Trump said.