March 23, 2018

Tillerson's firing had been expected, but it still stunned observers

14 March 2018, 07:50 | Taylor George

Donald Trump dumps Rex Tillerson as secretary of state

Donald Trump set to lose a fifth of his cabinet after firing Rex Tillerson

He openly contradicted the administration on a number of issues, including North Korea and Russian Federation, and was reportedly "getting increasingly angry over the Trump crackdown on China".

The top government spokesman made the remarks during a news conference after Trump dismissed Tillerson on Tuesday due to divisions over policy, including on Iran and North Korea.

John McCain, R-Arizona, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who is battling brain cancer at home in Arizona, praised Pompeo's nomination but had reservations about Haspel. Lindsey Graham, an establishment Republican and initial Tillerson backer, said Tuesday, after Trump announced via tweet that Pompeo would replace Tillerson. 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".

Mr Tillerson was said to have repeatedly complained about a perceived invasion of his territory by Mr Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

He was also outraged by the possibility that Tillerson was sacked over Twitter.

Democrats haven't signaled how they'll act amid the turnover.

"The instability of this administration in just about every area weakens America", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Twitter.

"I heard it on the radio", Carper said. "I'm just kidding. They fired Goldstein".

Mr Trump, in his Tuesday announcement, signalled that Mr Pompeo would bring the skills needed to confront the changing foreign policy challenges ahead in his administration.

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"One of the most important jobs for the secretary of state is to make clear to the world the president's policies and priorities", Sen. It is furthermore said that he was supposed to strengthen economic ties between the United States and Africa. "In nominating Director Pompeo, I question if the President has chosen someone that will enable his worst instincts and ignorance". "Pompeo received over a million oil and gas dollars during his political career, has deep ties to the Kochs, and is a climate denier to the core". "This is a win for the denial crowd", he said.

"Haspel is complicit in the destruction of videos of interrogations".

The New York Times reported in 2017 that Haspel played a direct role in the CIA's "extraordinary rendition programme" through which captured fighters were abducted and tortured.

"The torture of detainees in USA custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history", the Arizona Republican said.

"Ms Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA's interrogation program during the confirmation process".

Is there a possible link between Tillerson's tour of Africa and his being sacked by Trump?

One can not talk about "Tillersonism" or pin down a list of achievements that are specifically credited to the 69th secretary of state. But after 14 demoralizing months of budget cuts and staffing reductions for the State Department, his conservative political bent and closeness to President Donald Trump could breathe new vigor into an agency all too often sidelined on numerous nation's most pressing national security matters.

Bruen, who served as the National Security Council's director of global engagement in the Obama administration, said Trump's inability to nominate an ambassador to South Korea amid a crisis on the Korean Peninsula is a telling sign of how "exceptionally unattractive" it is to work for Trump.

Tillerson appeared to be caught by surprise last week when Trump announced he had accepted Kim's invitation to meet.

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