Trump dumps Secretary of State Tillerson via Twitter

President Donald J. Trump fired Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State on Tuesday and is replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo (Reuters). Gina Haspel, deputy director of the CIA, will replace Pompeo. “Congratulations to all!” Trump said on Twitter, where he broke the news (The Washington Post).

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The firing comes after a series of public rifts between Tillerson and Trump over policy on North Korea, Russia, and Iran, Reuters reported. Fire & Fury, the tell-all book by Michael Wolff, had this line about Tillerson: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s fate was sealed … by the revelation that he had called the president ‘a fucking moron.’”

Hours before the announcement, Tillerson said a nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England “clearly came from Russia” (The Guardian), going further than official statements from the British prime minister. (See WikiTribune‘s full coverage of the attack on Skripal.)

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When Tillerson became aware of his dismissal isn’t certain. According to The Washington Post, Trump asked Tillerson to “step aside” on Friday, March 9, and the then Secretary of State cut short a trip to Africa to return to Washington.

However, according to multiple reports Tuesday, Tillerson found out about his firing only after the president tweeted the news (CNBC).

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Nino Dvoršak


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Chuck Thompson is a consulting editor for WikiTribune. A former executive producer for CNN Digital, he’s the author of five books ranging in topics from WWII to global travel to U.S. politics. He’s worked on assignment in more than 60 countries and contributed to The New Republic, Outside, Salon, Esquire, Politico, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times and many other websites, newspapers and magazines.

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13 March 2018

17:50:24, 13 Mar 2018 . .‎ Chuck Thompson (Updated → Original draft)
17:47:45, 13 Mar 2018 . .‎ Chuck Thompson (Updated → Original draft)

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