United States President Trump dismisses Secretary of State Tillerson

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Top to bottom:
Donald Trump
Image: Shealah Craighead.
Rex Tillerson
Image: United States Department of State.
Mike Pompeo
Image: CIA.

United States President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday, that Rex Tillerson will no longer serve as the Secretary of State. Trump will nominate Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director as Tillerson's successor, and Deputy Director Gina Haspel will be nominated to replace Pompeo. The Secretary of State is the U.S. equivalent of a foreign minister in most other countries.

Trump first made the announcement in an early morning tweet at 5:43 AM ET (UTC−04:00). The State Department said in a statement, Tillerson "did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason" for his dismissal from office.

The President spoke to the press on the South Lawn of the White House later on Tuesday, saying "I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect. We're always on the same wavelength. The relationship has always been very good and that's what I need as Secretary of State."

Trump wished Tillerson well, adding that "Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We — we got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things," continued the President. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently."

According to NBC News and Reuters, there have been months of disagreements between Trump and Tillerson leading up to the dismissal.