Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump says 'disagreed on things' with Rex Tillerson

Trump says 'disagreed on things' with Rex Tillerson

President Donald Trump's choice to be the first female director of the CIA is a career spymaster who once ran an agency prison in Thailand where terror suspects were subjected to a harsh interrogation technique that the president has supported.

US stock index futures pared their gains and the dollar also trimmed gains versus the yen while extending losses versus the euro amid the news. On Tuesday morning, as Trump headed out to California for his first visit to the state after he became President, he told reporters that that he made the decision to oust his Secretary of State on his own and that he was a "good man" who would be "much happier now". Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will take his place. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!"

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.

He announced that deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel will become the new director, and the first woman so chosen.

Early in 2018, Trump said on Twitter that Mr Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a sceptical Mr Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran and other world powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and he has taken a more hawkish view than Mr Trump on Russian Federation.

Mr Tillerson also won few plaudits from career diplomats for his performance at the State Department.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, said in a statement that he spoke with Pompeo by phone on Monday morning.

It also comes amid a dramatic diplomatic opening with North Korea, with Trump set to hold a historic meeting with leader Kim Jong Un in May.

Trump says he and Pompeo have a "very, very similar thought process". Here are five reasons why Trump may have fired Tillerson.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest Trump administration staffer to get the ax. The president, initially enamoured with the brash Texan, quickly appeared to sour on his pick, as he frequently broke with the White House line on foreign policy. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well". "When you look at the Iran deal: I think it's awful, I guess he thinks it was OK". Most pressing of all: what to do about North Korea? When the White House stopped short of directly blaming Moscow for the high-profile nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the United Kingdom, Tillerson pulled no punches.

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. Last week, Trump's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn resigned after the president announced he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

He said Mr. Pompeo "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".

Rumors of Tillerson's ouster first started late a year ago, when reports that appeared to be targeted leaks from the White House emerged that Trump was souring on his secretary of state, following policy disputes and embarrassing leaks.

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