Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Trump Fires Tillerson, Taps Pompeo As Secretary Of State

Trump Fires Tillerson, Taps Pompeo As Secretary Of State

While Murphy argued that Pompeo's record against diplomacy bodes ill for the United States' top diplomat, he questioned how effective an advocate Tillerson had been for keeping the United States in the deal.

"We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things", Trump told reporters after announcing Tillerson's exit.

Later, the US Treasury Department would accuse Mr Tillerson's management team at Exxon of violating sanctions as it tried to hold on to the partnership after the Crimea annexation. Instead, it concluded that Moscow hacked conducted the hacking campaign to "help (Trump's) election chances". Getting along with Mr Putin was one of his stated goals. I have has written a fair amount about Tillerson's incompetence and ineffectiveness as secretary of state.

"Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests", Mr Tillerson told senators. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, "because they appear to be very close and I know he does the [Presidential Daily Briefing]".

In a statement from a top aide about five hours after his plane landed at Joint Base Andrews around 4 a.m., Tillerson made clear that the gulf between the methodical former corporate executive and the mercurial president was as wide as ever. And it wasn't just a starting position in a negotiation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest top official to leave a U.S. administration where turnover has been inordinately high. And in January, he blamed Russian Federation for chemical attacks in Syria - an impossible starting position for any discussion with the Kremlin.

But after months of denying he meant to resign, Tillerson was ousted Tuesday just as he seemed to be hitting his diplomatic stride. He must have made up his mind early on that he wouldn't be smeared along with Mr Trump by the unfolding Russian Federation scandal.

"We were not really thinking the same", Trump said.

There are no public traces of these attempts, though.

The comedian's comment was a reference to an interview DeVos did with CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday night, in which the education secretary struggled to answer basic questions regarding schools in her home state of MI.

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Among his last acts as secretary, as he flew back from Africa late Monday, was to brief reporters on his "outrage" at Russia's alleged involvement in an attempted assassination using a nerve agent in Britain.

Mr Trump, for his part, only professed willingness to accept the UK's conclusions in the case.

Dr. Victoria Williams, a political science professor at Alvernia, said the string of administration departures from the Trump White House is "a very unusual situation", adding that the 35 percent turnover rate in Trump's Cabinet during his first two years in office is far higher than any recent administration.

Tillerson's sacking caps a tumultuous tenure at the State Department. But they can hardly accuse him of not adopting thoroughly mainstream foreign policy positions. As previously noted, Pompeo is tight with the president and has served in the Cabinet and Congress.

Tillerson's departure adds to a period of intense turnover within Trump's administration that has alarmed those both in and out of the White House. Though many were nearing retirement age, the overall effect left many State Department employees feeling demoralized and adrift.

However, Tillerson, also presided over a State Department which saw its role vastly diminished, with several high-profile posts unoccupied and many allies questioning the efficacy of dealing with a diplomat they suspected never had Trump's ear.

Tillerson consistently, and rather wearily, denied it. Judging by Pompeo's experience at the Central Intelligence Agency, he could play a big role in restoring structure and order in the United States' foreign policy arm.

In the immediate term, as foreign diplomats sift through Pompeo's pronouncements reflecting hostility to the Iran nuclear deal, some equivocation about Russia's interference in the USA presidential election and a gimlet-eyed view of the North Korean threat, they say they aren't sure, at this point, who they should be reaching out to or speaking with, even as a series of important meetings loom. It remains to be seen whether a similar escalation yields better results with Mr Putin.

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