Donald Trump dumps Rex Tillerson as secretary of state

Donald Trump dumps Rex Tillerson as secretary of state

Of Mr. Tillerson, the president said only, "I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. He will do a fantastic job!" the president tweeted.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest in a long string of staff departures under President Donald Trump.

Pompeo is to be replaced at Central Intelligence Agency by Gina Haspel, Pompeo's deputy at Central Intelligence Agency. Trump tweeted at 8:44 a.m. EST.

Meanwhile, foreign diplomats reacted to the news with a mixture of befuddlement and resignation.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry".

The resignation represents the biggest shakeup of the Trump Cabinet so far and had been expected since last October when reports surfaced about a falling out between Trump and Tillerson, 65, who left his position as chief executive of Exxon Mobil to join the administration.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was bad, he thought it was okay".

When the White House stopped short of directly blaming Moscow for the high-profile nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the United Kingdom, Tillerson pulled no punches.

The secretary of state was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was caught unawares by Mr Trump's agreement to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. What surprised was the timing: right after Tillerson went more vocal about Russia's threat, and on the day when he just arrived from Africa.


"I had a very good conversation with Director Pompeo this morning and look forward to meeting with him soon", Corker said in a statement. The move comes after the secretary of State asserted Monday night that Russian Federation "clearly" was responsible for the poisoning of a former British spy, a statement that went well beyond comments from the White House.

But over time, many lawmakers grew to appreciate Tillerson as a relatively steady hand in the chaotic Trump administration.

The president called her by her first name Tuesday morning in comments to reporters, and praised her. Tillerson himself fanned the flames by refusing to deny the reports.

Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn and press secretary Sean Spicer. Trump had previously berated Tillerson publicly on Twitter, saying he was wasting his time talking to North Korea, a line that had led the secretary of state to remark (just before Trump changed his mind) that there was no immediate prospect of talks with North Korea. 'If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of USA intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past'. Haley has also worked with the US intelligence agency to declassify evidence linking Iran to the supply of ballistic missiles to Houthi insurgents in Yemen.

Mr Tillerson had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming secretary of state.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is hailing Mike Pompeo as a "great decision" for next secretary of state.

Another U.N. -based diplomat described the former congressman as an unknown quantity. "For us in the diplomatic service, he is kind of like a blank page".

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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