Tillerson Fired as Secretary of State

Tillerson Fired as Secretary of State

Tillerson Fired as Secretary of State

President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday and said he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, ending Tillerson's hard tenure by tweeting an ouster that had been long expected and yet was shocking in its abruptness.

Trump said he will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace the former Exxon Mobil chief executive and Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency.

Instead, Tillerson's side of the story came later from Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy.

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.

According to the Washington Post, Trump "believes that Tillerson is "too establishment" in his thinking and he it was important to replace him as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as upcoming trade negotiations". Tillerson found out about his firing through Trump's tweet Tuesday morning, NBC News reported, citing a senior State Department official.

It was telling that the White House announced the personnel moves through an increasingly common playbook: A leak, a tweet and written statements from those involved.

Mr. Trump made Tuesday's move while Mr. Tillerson, formerly the CEO of ExxonMobil, was out of the country, finishing a week-long tour of several African nations.

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.

Stocks pared gains on the Tillerson news, but then stabilized.

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.

The gold subsector rose 0.65 percent as pot gold percent to $1,322.36 an ounce following the ouster of U.S. Secretary of State by President Donald Trump. Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the first woman so chosen.

While some intelligence officers have said that Pompeo tends to tell Trump what he wants to hear rather than giving him their assessments, others say they have been impressed by his intellect, willingness to listen and advocacy of more robust covert operations.

Tillerson is just the latest to step down in the Trump administration. The president and his surrogates consistently criticized reports that Tillerson would not last long - reports that now appear to have been well-founded.

Haspel is set to become the first woman to ever lead the spy agency, where she is now serving second-in-command under Director Mike Pompeo.

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.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump wrote on Twitter, using a pejorative nickname for Kim.

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

Mr Trump publicly undercut Mr Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state's comments about Russian Federation appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.

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