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Tillerson Fired as Secretary of State

Tillerson Fired as Secretary of State”

US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.

"The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason" he was sacked, said Steve Goldstein, under secretary of state for public diplomacy and Public Affairs in a statement to ABC News. As it turns out, by lasting until March, he's ... still one of the shortest-tenured secretaries of state in American history.

As a diplomatic crisis in Qatar unfolded, Trump directly undermined Tillerson's calls for calm, expressing support for Saudi Arabia's economic and diplomatic blockade of the Gulf state, and accusing Qatar of funding terrorism. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's awful and he thinks it's okay", Trump said.

Trump specifically cited differences over the Iran deal Tuesday. "So we were not thinking the same".

"He dived into policy matters in a way that unnerved many professionals at the agency", the official added,"and morale was taking a blow that was spreading from the analytical side, where some people feared he was tailoring some PDBs (President's Daily Briefs intelligence assessments presented to the president) to tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than what the intelligence assessments were".

Pompeo, however, will need to find a way to grapple with a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining Tillerson with Twitter posts, current and former US officials said. Earlier at the White House, press secretary Sarah Sanders had refrained from saying Moscow was responsible. Trump had previously berated Tillerson publicly on Twitter, saying he was wasting his time talking to North Korea, a line that had led the secretary of state to remark (just before Trump changed his mind) that there was no immediate prospect of talks with North Korea. When Trump ultimately accepted Kim's invitation for a meeting, Tillerson was in Ethiopia, though he said he spoke with Trump about it shortly before it was announced.

Mr Pompeo is to be replaced at the Central Intelligence Agency by his deputy Gina Haspel, Mr Trump tweeted.

Haley, who had her own contentious relationship with ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, congratulated Pompeo in a tweet and called him her "friend". He will do a fantastic job!

Mr Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Mr Trump's announcement.

Two White House officials said Tillerson was told he was out on Friday.

The Department of State said Mr Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was "unaware of the reason" for his firing. Golstein said that Tillerson had "every intention of staying". Trump tweeted at 8:44 a.m. EST. We got along quite well but we disagreed on things.

Haspel, who has extensive overseas experience, briefly ran a secret CIA prison where terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002, according to current and former USA intelligence officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. There were no obvious signs from his behavior or his aides on the plane that his departure was imminent.

The secretary of state was said to roll his eyes or slouch when he disagreed with Mr Trump's decisions.

The secretary of state was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was caught unawares by Mr Trump's agreement to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.



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