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Trump Replaces Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State
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Rex Tillerson. Photo courtesy of Time.

Summary: On Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter before calling him hours later. 

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he had replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, who was the former director of the CIA.

  
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“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!” Trump stated.

According to NBC News, the announcement ends “months of speculation about how much longer the embattled Tillerson would last in the job.” The two men had been fighting during this time, and Tillerson “often seemed out of the loop or in disagreement with the president on major foreign policy decisions.”

Tillerson said on Tuesday that he would turn over duties to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan by the end of the day. His official last day will be the end of March.

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“What is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson shared that Trump had fired him personally on the phone at noon today, hours after Trump had publicly fired him using social media.



Tillerson said to the press that he and Trump largely disagreed about Russia, which has recently threatened the United States with nuclear war but which also seems to have a personal positive relationship with Trump.

“Much work remains to respond to the troubling behavior and actions on the part of the Russian government,” Tillerson said. “Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interest of the Russian people and the world more broadly. Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone’s interest.”

Tillerson, who was formerly the head of ExxonMobile, was appointed to the position of Secretary of State last year, and he and the president have had numerous public disagreements.

“We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” Trump said to the BBC. “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.”

Trump’s relationship with Russia and Russia’s alleged involvement with the 2016 presidential election is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. So far, Mueller has gotten guilty pleas from former members of Trump’s inner circle such as Rick Gates.

What do you think of Rex Tillerson’s firing? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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