President Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter
US President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Tuesday morning that CIA Director Mike Pompeo will be replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
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
Tillerson had been appointed Secretary of State at the beginning of 2017, having been in the position 14 months before being fired this morning.
Trump also announced that American Intelligence Officer Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, becoming the first woman to be chosen for the position.
Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted out his appreciation for Tillerson and congratulated Pompeo on his nomination.
Thanks to Rex Tillerson for his service to our Administration and Nation & I congratulate CIA Director Mike Pompeo on his nomination to become the 70th Secretary of State. My statement: pic.twitter.com/G79VIC6EEs
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 13, 2018
Before heading to California today, Trump told reporters that he and Tillerson disagreed a lot, citing the Iran deal, but said he does wish Tillerson well, and appreciated his commitment and his service.
He went on to say that he and Pompeo have a very similar thought process.
Steve Goldstein, undersecretary for public diplomacy said that Tillerson wanted to stay on as Secretary of State.
Goldstien added that Tillerson didn’t get to speak with President Trump and found out he was fired along with the world when Trump tweeted out the announcement.
Remarkable statement from State Department spokesman on Tillerson firing: pic.twitter.com/iBpLaK1tXw
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 13, 2018
United States representative Ed Royce had nothing bad to say about Tillerson in his statement made on the announcement.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce on Rex Tillerson’s ousting from State Department: “He is a good man, a thoughtful leader and a business titan … I wish Rex well and look forward to working with our next Secretary of State.” https://t.co/eF3M1uom2t pic.twitter.com/QTEq8pnMWp
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 13, 2018
Tillerson, who was chosen for the State Department job after a review of candidates that included former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had reportedly been on the chopping block since November of last year.
In November, The New York Times reported that the White House was considering removing Tillerson and replacing him with Pompeo.
This comes after it was reported that Tillerson had called Trump a ‘”moron” after a meeting back in July at the Pentagon.
In October Tillerson said that he has a close relationship with Trump and called him “smart.” But he would not confirm or deny that he called Trump a “moron.”
The White House and State Department denied the report, but neither Trump nor press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that there was confidence in Tillerson.
“When the president loses confidence in somebody, they’ll no longer be here,” Sanders said at the Nov.30 White House press briefing.
Before becoming Secretary of State, Tillerson was the CEO of Exxon Mobil, a publicly traded oil firm, and oversaw operations in more than 50 countries, including Russia.
In 2011, Exxon Mobil signed a deal with Rosneft – Russia’s largest state-owned oil company – for joint oil exploration and production. This brought controversy to the US government.
Tillerson was against Rule 1504 of the Dodd–Frank reform and protections, which was created by the Obama administration in 2010.
Rule 1504 required Exxon to disclose payments to foreign governments. In 2017, Trump got rid of Rule 1504 one-hour before Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State.