President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is removing Rex Tillerson as secretary of state after a rocky tenure, nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his place.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “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!”
The strength of the secretary’s relationship with Trump has been a regular source of speculation. Tillerson reportedly referred to the president as a “moron” last year, and while the secretary held an impromptu press conference in the wake of that report, he did not outright deny having used the term.
Tillerson arrived from Africa Tuesday morning to the president’s announcement making him one of the shortest secretary of state in the U.S history. He was in office for a little over a year.
“We disagreed on things,” Trump said of Tillerson just after announcing the firing on Twitter.
The sacking has been expected since last October when reports surfaced about a falling out between Trump and Tillerson, 65.
At an event covered by Per Second News in Washington last November, President Trump failed to unequivocally back Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after reports said the White House is looking to remove the official from his post.
Asked by reporters if he still wanted Mr Tillerson in the job, the President merely said: “He’s here. Rex is here”.
President Trump publicly undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including most recently on Monday when the former secretary of state’s comments about Russia appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.
While in Africa, he was reported to have fumed against new Trump’s policy regarding North Korea, Per Second News gathered.
Tillerson has been embattled as Trump’s chief diplomat almost from the moment his nomination was announced. The former Exxon-Mobil CEO was criticized for his perceived warm relationship with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, prompting an especially critical confirmation hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“I think he really will go down as one of the worst secretaries of State we’ve had,” Eliot Cohen, counselor to the State Department under President George W. Bush, said recently.
For those searching for answers why Mr. Tillerson was fired, a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabbe Sanders, last year in DC might be all you need.
“When the President loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve here,” she said.