Tillerson says he'll ensure smooth transition after being fired

Tillerson says he'll ensure smooth transition after being fired

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning that he is nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State.

"At the end of the day, I'm delegating all responsibilities of the Office of the Secretary to Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan", Tillerson said in a public address Tuesday after his dismissal.

As for his relationship with Tillerson, Trump said, "Really, it was a different mindset". With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process.

In a statement to reporters hours after Donald Trump sacked him in a tweet to the public, Mr Tillerson paid tribute to those who work in the department.

The changes come as Trump considers whether to withdraw the USA from the 2015 Iran deal that Pompeo has called "disastrous".

In an illustration of the gulf that has long separated Tillerson and Trump, the White House and the State Department vigorously disagreed about the circumstances of his firing.

Later at the State Department, Tillerson told reporters that Trump called him around noon from Air Force One and that he had also spoken with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

But the White House distanced itself from those remarks, and a few days later, Mr Tillerson himself backed off. That decision left Mr Tillerson looking completely out of touch with the White House. "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump wrote on Twitter. A shaken Tillerson relinquished control of the State Department.

And he urged those who have been working for him to "remain at their post and continue our mission". The sources weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity. Trump on Tuesday told reporters, "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's bad".

Trump specifically cited the Iran nuclear deal, which he wanted to pull the USA out of against Tillerson's recommendations. Trump frequently criticized the agreement as a candidate.

The personnel change comes ahead of a planned summit in the coming months between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set to be the first-ever meeting between a sitting USA leader and a North Korean one.

Trump a year ago used bellicose rhetoric toward North Korea and threatened "fire and fury", ratcheting up tensions with the reclusive nuclear-armed country.

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When she was running for president in 2016, she collapsed as she was leaving a September 11 memorial event. Clinton then told a story from the second debate between her and Trump, a town hall-style debate.

Tillerson was aghast at Trump's threats of war against the Kim Jong Un regime.

Tillerson follows chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and communications director Hope Hicks as the latest members of the administration to depart.

The tensions peaked last fall amid reports Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" and considered resigning.

Some on social media jokily questioned whether anyone had told him he didn't have to fire someone weekly in his new job, away from The Apprentice. But Tillerson continued to hang on, pointing out that his doubters had yet to be proven right.

To succeed Pompeo, the USA president nominated Gina Haspel, a controversial career intelligence officer, to head the Central Intelligence Agency - the first woman tapped for the post.

According to multiple reports, this large-scale staffing announcement was news to even Tillerson, who allegedly found out with the rest of the world when the president broke the news on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!"

February 1, 2017 - Tillerson is confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 56-43. Ron Wyden of OR, a Senate Intelligence Committee, accused Pompeo of being insufficiently tough on Russian Federation and said he'd "demonstrated a casual relationship to truth and principle". He also praised Trump.

"I will leave how these discussions proceed to the president of the United States", Pompeo said.

"Pompeo, coming in from the Central Intelligence Agency, is up to speed on this, and that's very important for Trump to have", he said.

"I felt like, look, I just need to get back", Tillerson said. "I think Rex is much happier now".

Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said turmoil in the Trump administration was worsening diplomatic problems and "creating ruptures with our closest allies".

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