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Donald Trump fires Rex Tillerson as a Secretary of State. His replacement announced

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 13, 2018
11:08 A.M.

In a move that isn’t that surprising, President Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State. The President already nominated the person he wanted to take over.

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According to BBC, Trump felt that he and Rex Tillerson just didn’t think the same. Tillerson often disagreed with the President’s choices and ideas which caused tension between the two.

President Trump fired his Secretary of State and quickly replaced him with the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo. On Twitter, Trump thanked Tillerson for his service and said the new state secretary would do ‘a fantastic job.’

Tillerson, who is a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago. The President also nominated Gina Haspel to become the first woman director of the CIA.

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The Department of State said Tillerson had not spoken to the President and was ‘unaware of the reason’ for his firing. Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Trump stated that his differences with Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry."

He shared that they had gotten along quite well, but that they had disagreed on things. The President stated that he felt the Iran deal was terrible whereas Tillerson had felt that it was fine.

Trump shared that he had wanted to either break it or do something and Tillerson had felt a little bit differently and they were not thinking the same. The President revealed that he felt with Pompeo things would be different because they had a very similar thought process.

"The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security."

Secretary Steve Goldstein, BBC, March 13, 2018

Tillerson had been an unconventional pick for Secretary of State and he seemed like he was on thin ice from the beginning of his administration tenure. The President was initially charmed by the brash Texan but he quickly soured on his pick.

Tillerson frequently broke with the White House line on foreign policy. He was also reported to have called the President a moron.

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Last week Trump tweeted that he had a few more staff changes he wanted to make and Tillerson was clearly the main staffer. Tillerson was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was apparently caught unawares by Trump's announcement that he would hold talks with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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The US diplomat's team shared that he was feeling unwell on Saturday and he was expected to cut short his tour by a day. He arrived back in Washington before dawn on Tuesday to learn that he was out of a job.

In October 2017, Tillerson was forced to convene a news conference to deny reports that he was considering quitting. Last autumn, Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was ‘wasting his time’ trying to negotiate with nuclear-armed North Korea.

Tillerson was reported to be astonished at how little Trump seemed to grasp the basics of foreign policy. The New York Times quoted sources that said Trump was irritated by Tillerson's body language during meetings.

Tillerson was also said to roll his eyes or slouch when he disagreed with the President’s decisions.

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