Rex Tillerson reportedly discovered he was fired from Trump's Tweet

Thursday, 15 Mar, 2018

Trump's differences with Tillerson appeared to extend to the logistics of his announced departure, with the State Department and White House issuing contradictory accounts over when the secretary was sacked.

Newnham said Tillerson had been trying to move Trump in a more moderate direction on several issues, including a push to keep the Iran deal in place and, previously, an attempt to keep the the Paris climate accord.

"What is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges", Mr Tillerson told reporters.

While Tillerson urged step-by-step caution in dealings with North Korea, Pompeo has congratulated Trump on his boldness in agreeing to meet with a leader who he a year ago suggested would be a good candidate for USA -authored regime change.

He did not mention Trump - other than to say that he'd spoken by phone to the president Tuesday while Trump was on Air Force One.

Over the weekend, Pompeo said the United States would not make any concessions ahead of potential talks, but that North Korea must stand by its offers to halt nuclear and missile testing as they take place, allow the continuation of joint military exercises between the USA and South Korea, and leave denuclearization open for negotiation.

Tillerson will pass authority at midnight to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, remaining at the department for handover purposes until March 31.

"The secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason" for his dismissal, said Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, in a statement Tuesday before he himself was dismissed.

Then Goldstein, hours after making those comments, was fired, too.

Multiple White House officials said that Tillerson had been informed of the decision Friday, while he was in Ethiopia. Trump told reporters that though the pair actually "got along...quite well", they "disagreed on things".

"As everybody knows, because it was so apparent in the media, State Department professionals did not care for Secretary Tillerson's style", Cyr said.

Many of Trump's top national security aides, like Tillerson, have argued that the United States is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the most competent policy principal in Trump's Cabinet, and he formed a close relationship with Tillerson.

With Iran, Trump wanted out of the Iran deal, but Tillerson wanted the United States to stay the course.

Tillerson and Mattis had pressed a skeptical Trump to stick with the nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers, and Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation.

It's no secret that Tillerson and Trump had a combative relationship.

The president later said he and the former ExxonMobil CEO "were not really thinking the same", but that Pompeo had a "similar thought process".

"We can't put the North Korea issue on the back burner". Tillerson had issued a strong Monday condemnation of Russian Federation for the poisoning of a former spy in the United Kingdom, though it was not immediately clear if this was linked to his dismissal.

Israeli officials told Ravid that Trump opposes Europe's "cosmetic changes" and wants a "significant" rewriting of the Iran deal itself.

With Pompeo taking the reins at the State Department - on top of other changes in the administration - there's a very real chance that the chorus of voices in the White House is becoming too narrow, Langran said.

Speculation that Tillerson would be fired grew last fall with the reports of his "moron" insult, which the secretary state never personally denied.

Trump tapped the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency. Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against Pompeo's nomination to be Central Intelligence Agency director past year because of Paul's concerns over Pompeo's support for torture and domestic spying. He will do a fantastic job! Pompeo will need confirmation by the Senate. "If confirmed, I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office", Haspel said.