Tillerson fails to thank Trump after firing

Tillerson fails to thank Trump after firing

Kerry Wise
March 14, 2018

President Trump's decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday had members of Maine's congressional delegation focusing on his replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and the challenges he will face from Russian Federation and North Korea if he is confirmed by the Senate.

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.

Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m. that he was firing Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The President announced in a tweet that he had nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to take up the role, saying the 54-year-old "will do a fantastic job". According to the Associated Press, two USA officials have confirmed Trump's termination of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein (mouthful).

During her time at the agency, Haspel has held several senior leadership positions, including directorial roles in the National Clandestine Service and in the Counterterrorism Center, as well as several Chief of Station roles, a news release from the CIA said.

Months of rumors that his job was on the chopping block did not soften a rough landing for Rex Tillerson as he flew home early from an official five-country tour of Africa. Tillerson never denied using the word. And it continued a distressing trend: Trump's administration is hemorrhaging people. A veteran CIA clandestine officer, Haspel is backed by many in the United States intelligence community but is regarded warily by some in Congress for her involvement in the agency's "black site" detention facilities. In his announcement pulling out of the deal a year ago, Trump said it was "very unfair at the highest level to the United States".

Trump on Tuesday singled out the Iran nuclear deal as one of the main differences he had with Tillerson.

Palestinians: 19-year-old killed in West Bank clashes
Tensions between the sides have risen since Trump declared on December 6 that he recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the victim as 24-year-old Mohammed al-Jabari.

He spoke on Tuesday of his desire to break the deal, but noted that Mr Tillerson "felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same".

Tillerson, the White House said, asked that Trump wait until he returned to the US, and he shortened his trip to Africa - where much of his mission revolved around softening the impact of Trump's recent reported criticisms.

Former U.S. officials suggested that, as the administration nears a planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about Pyongyang's nuclear programme, it could rethink its stance on the Iran deal.

"I'm not going to dignify the question", Tillerson said when pressed on the issue. The White House declined to label Russian Federation the culprit in a daily briefing; later that day, Tillerson said the poisoning "clearly came from Russian Federation". Trump told reporters before departing on Marine One, "I'll be speaking to Rex over a long period of time".

Despite having been confirmed by the Senate as Central Intelligence Agency director, Pompeo's record on other foreign policy issues also suggests the nominee won't slide through this next confirmation process without a shakedown. "The president is intent on delivering this solution through diplomatic means", Pompeo told me during a recent conversation at the American Enterprise Institute.

Both Pompeo and Haspel require Senate confirmation to assume their new posts.