Did Trump fire Tillerson because he was too anti-Russia?


US 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.

There's been another shakeup in President Trump's administration, and while it has been rumored and hinted at for months, the shock at the latest departure is no less resonant.

In a statement announcing Mr Pompeo's appointment, Mr Trump said: "I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture. He will do a fantastic job!"

"The unceremonious and abrupt termination of Secretary Tillerson sends a poor message to people who might consider serving in the Trump administration", Whitehouse wrote in a news release.

GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters Tuesday that he'd hoped the president's relationship with Tillerson had smoothed over, but the differences in working styles between the two individuals didn't make for the most symbiotic relationship.

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Tillerson will pass authority at midnight to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, remaining at the department for handover purposes until March 31. Tillerson never denied using the word.

Another point of divergence between Tillerson and Pompeo is the worldwide nuclear deal negotiated with Iran in 2015 under former President Barack Obama.

The Trump administration did not officially second those findings.

In her appointment previous year as deputy director, Haspel garnered praise from high-level Obama-era and Bush-era appointees, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden. There was disagreement between the two over the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Syria, Russia, North Korea. "When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was bad, he thought it was okay".

Corker said it isn't really a surprise that Tillerson and Trump butted heads, given Tillerson's role as a former corporate executive operating in a more orderly environment than a White House that Corker once described as an "adult day care center".

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The shake-up comes as Trump prepares for a possible meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as part of an unprecedented effort to break a decades-long impasse on denuclearizing the peninsula.

"This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed", said one US official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Both Reed and Whitehouse voted to confirm Pompeo as Central Intelligence Agency chief over the objections of many liberals, including the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats.

Trump had scant words of praise for Tillerson, who had always been rumored to be about to be pushed out.

Hours later, the White House announced that Steve Goldstein, a top Tillerson aide, was also being fired. "The president is intent on delivering this solution through diplomatic means", Pompeo told me during a recent conversation at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Tillerson's position: Tillerson expressed support for the Paris climate agreement during his Senate confirmation hearings, saying he believed in global warming and thought it required a "global response".