Was Rex Tillerson Really Blindsided by Trump Firing?


Trump on Tuesday said he had selected Pompeo, a 54-year-old conservative Republican who has served since last year as Central Intelligence Agency director, to replace fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the biggest Cabinet shakeup of his presidency.

The president said he was nominating the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to take over for Pompeo at the intelligence agency. Tillerson was also often out of step with Trump on foreign policy, most notably with issues involving North Korea. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's bad and he thinks it's okay", Trump said. I wanted to break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently. "We weren't really thinking the same". He said he and Tillerson "disagree on things", and he and Pompeo had "a very good chemistry right from the beginning".

President Trump is saying the opposite.

President Trump announced today that he has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The president, initially enamoured with the brash Texan, quickly appeared to sour on his pick, as he frequently broke with the White House line on foreign policy. The sources weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

When asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if Tillerson would be leading the diplomatic talks between the USA and North Korea, Pompeo said such discussions would take a "team" effort.

He appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he had accepted Kim's invitation to meet before the end of May.

At 11:17AM ET (15:17 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 60.97 points, or 0.39 percent, to 15,665.76.

Russian senators have expressed cautious optimism over Donald Trump's announcement of Mike Pompeo as the new U.S. Secretary of State. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!" If confirmed, she would become the CIA's first female director. "Congratulations to all!" Trump said on Twitter.

Tillerson is the latest high-ranking official in the Trump administration to resign.

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.

More news: Where could Kim Jong Un meet Donald Trump?

Rumors of Tillerson's ouster first started late a year ago, when reports that appeared to be targeted leaks from the White House emerged that Trump was souring on his secretary of state, following policy disputes and embarrassing leaks.

Haspel's confirmation hearing has not yet been set. The Post's Gearan, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker reported on October 4 that "the already tense relationship between the two headstrong men - one a billionaire former real estate developer, the other a former captain of the global oil industry - has ruptured into what some White House officials call an irreparable breach that will inevitably lead to Tillerson's departure, whether immediately or not".

Several months earlier in Beijing, Mr Tillerson told reporters the United States was directly communicating with North Korea but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue.

White House efforts to counter reporting on Tillerson intensified in the fall.

"Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"

Trump specifically cited differences over the Iran deal Tuesday.

Tillerson's head was on the chopping block - as is everyone's in the Trump circle - from literally the day he took the job, given the President's style and mercurial temperament.

Schumer says with the firing of Tillerson, "instability of this administration in just about every area weakens America".

The president is adding that Tillerson will be "much happier now", and he appreciates his service.

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