US President Donald Trump has announced the dismissal of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, ending a tumultuous tenure as America’s top diplomat that was marked by a series of public disagreements between him and his boss.
Tillerson was replaced with Mike Pompeo, director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The president announced this on Twitter.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service, Mr Trump tweeted that his new top diplomat would do “a fantastic job”.
Tillerson’s dismissal comes barely a day – Monday, March 12 – after he visited Nigeria and almost a week after he said that Nigeria’s 2019 general elections and a peaceful transition remain the US major priority.
During his visit yesterday, the sacked secretary of state had pledged the assistance of the US government to assist Nigeria in many ways, including rescuing the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.
As reported by the CNBC, since Tillerson took the post in February 2017, mixed messages repeatedly came out of the White House and a State Department with diminishing relevance. The intramural clashes between the president and secretary of State came amid major international crises, including a potential nuclear showdown with North Korea.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal “chemistry”.
“We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” said 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, so we were not really thinking the same.
“With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.
“Rex is a very good man, I like Rex a lot.”