U.S. president Donald Trump has removed secretary of state Rex Tillerson from his job and replaced him with Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“I am confident (Pompeo) is the right person for the job at this critical juncture,” Trump said in a statement. “He will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Pompeo’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The same goes for Gina Haspel – whom Trump is nominating as his replacement at the CIA.
The move comes after months of bickering between Trump and Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil who was on the job for a total of thirteen months. Seriously: These two have never seen eye-to-eye on much of anything, and Tillerson’s exit has been rumored for months.
The only question? Who would replace him …
Last October, Tillerson was accused of referring to Trump as a “moron” following a July 2017 meeting with national security advisors at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
Tillerson never denied making the comment, however he disputed reports that he was preparing to step down.
“I have never considered leaving this post,” he said at the time.
Trump appeared to be sated, and affirmed his support for Tillerson.
“I am very honored by his comments, it was fake news, it was a totally phony story,” Trump said. “I have total confidence in Rex.”
Not anymore …
(Click to view)
(Via: The White House)
Trump and Tillerson have been at odds almost from the beginning of his tenure, disagreeing on a wide range of issues – most notably how to handle the nuclear threat posed by socialist monarch Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea).
Last September, Tillerson said he was “probing” for a way to start a conversation with Kim’s notoriously reclusive regime – only to be undermined the very next day by his boss.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted.
Tillerson also openly disagreed with Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate control agreement.
“I was free to express my views,” Tillerson said at the time. “I took a counter view to the decision that was made.”
The two have also sparred on America’s dealings with Iran, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and Trump’s response to the racial violence that erupted last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The president speaks for himself,” Tillerson told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in responding to Trump’s handling of the situation.
Accordingly, the real question here isn’t “why did it take Trump so long to fire Rex Tillerson?” it’s this …
“Why did Trump hire Rex Tillerson in the first place?”
Many believed Trump would give the coveted position to Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, but he went with the nation’s spy chief instead. In fact Haley has previously claimed Trump offered her the job initially, but she turned him down.
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