Trump Asked Tillerson To Step Aside Before Talks With North Korea

Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps CIA director Pompeo

Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps CIA director Pompeo

U.S. President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Tillerson's departure capped months of friction between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive, who had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming secretary of state. Equally important was Trump's observation that "we're always on the same wavelength".

Meanwhile, U.S. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted that he hoped "that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russian Federation and Putin". While that may have improved the standing of an agency Trump attacked repeatedly during his presidential campaign and the transition, it also raised concerns about Pompeo's commitment to keep the CIA free of politics.

As much as anyone in the administration, Pompeo has mastered the art of communicating with this president.

One was appointed honorarily shortly before a transition.

Trump has been mulling plans to replace Tillerson since at least September, according to one administration official.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was awful, he thought it was okay".

Trump mentioned differences over how to handle the Iran agreement, which he wanted to withdraw from.

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Mike Pompeo's confirmation hearing for secretary of state will be in April, but didn't specify a specific date. "This is where Pompeo has really been able to endear himself to Trump". "Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School". In 2006, Pompeo sold the manufacturing company he'd founded, Thayer Aerospace.

Tillerson leaves behind a short-lived and mixed legacy at the State Department, where he sometimes ran afoul of the White House and stoked criticism for his handling of the department.

Hours later, however, Mr Trump accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, appearing to side firmly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in the dispute and to undermine Mr Tillerson's effort to adopt a more even-handed approach to broker a solution. "He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts", he said".

The moves were first reported by The Washington Post.

Yet not everything he's done has been well-received inside the Central Intelligence Agency.

It also raised questions about whether he could influence intelligence that the CIA was sharing with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or congressional committees. "I made that decision by myself".

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

The rumors came a month after a bombshell NBC News report revealed Tillerson privately railed against the president and called him a "moron" at a closed-door meeting at the Pentagon.

While Tillerson has been critical of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and its intervention from Ukraine to Syria, Pompeo has at times bolstered Trump's view that inquiries into Russian election meddling is a "witch hunt" meant to undercut his presidency.

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