President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that he dumped his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“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 wrote on Twitter moments before he was to depart the White House for a visit to California.
Trump stated he didn’t consult Tillerson, who was visiting US allies in Africa, prior to firing him.
“I made that decision by myself. You know Rex wasn’t in this country,” Trump informed reporters as he prepared to board Marine One. “I made this decision by myself.”
Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein stated Trump by no means explained why he gave Tillerson the boot, adding the secretary “had every intention of staying” because he thought he was making progress in enhancing national security, the Associated Press reported.
White House officials stated Tillerson was informed he would be fired on Friday.
But Goldstein stated Tillerson “did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.”
The president mentioned he and Tillerson didn’t see eye to eye, particularly over the Iran nuclear deal, however that he and Pompeo have a “similar thought process.”
Pompeo has “tremendous energy, tremendous intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good. … I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great secretary of state.”
Trump wished Tillerson well and stated, “I think he will be a lot happier now.”
The president fired Tillerson, the previous CEO of ExxonMobil, a day after the country’s top diplomat stated the poisoning in England earlier this month of a former Russian spy “clearly came from Russia” and will “trigger a response.”
Tillerson’s singling out of Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, was a a lot more durable method than that of the White House on Monday.
Asked at the White House briefing about British Prime Minister Theresa May saying it was “highly likely” that Moscow was behind the assault, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated the US was standing behind its ally and monitoring the state of affairs.
“The attack was reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible. We offer the fullest condemnation, and we extend our sympathy to the victims and their families, and our support to the UK government. We stand by our closest ally and the special relationship that we have,” she stated with out mentioning Russia as soon as.
Tillerson, 65, wasn’t so diplomatic about Russia’s involvement.
“There is never a justification for this type of attack — the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation — and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior,” he stated in an announcement. “From Ukraine to Syria — and now the UK — Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens.”
Tillerson cut short a five-day journey to Africa on Monday to work on urgent issues in Washington, his spokesman stated, including the tariffs on steel and aluminum and Trump’s walks with North Korea — announcements Trump made last Thursday.