Ethiopia and other four African countries were the last official visits (March 6-12, 2018) for Rex Tillerson as the U.S. Secretary of State before President Trump sacks him from the position on March 13, 2018. CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson.
By Eline Gordts and Marina Fang (HuffPost)
Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of state after just 14 months on the job.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he is replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, minutes after The Washington Post first reported that he had ousted Tillerson.
Tillerson’s departure comes amid reports of his disappointment with the turbulent atmosphere in President Donald Trump’s White House, as well as mounting criticism of his performance as the country’s leading diplomat and his drastic reduction of civil servant positions at the State Department.
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
His job security had always seemed precarious, but on Nov. 30, The New York Times reported that the White House was considering forcing out Tillerson and replacing him with Pompeo.
The White House and State Department pushed back on the report, but that day, neither Trump nor White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would definitively say whether the president had confidence in Tillerson.
“He’s here. Rex is here,” Trump told reporters.
“When the president loses confidence in somebody, they’ll no longer be here,” Sanders said at that day’s White House press briefing.
Trump and Tillerson’s relationship has long been filled with tension. Tillerson reportedly considered resigning after Trump’s widely criticized speech to the Boy Scouts of America in July.
On Oct. 4, NBC News reported that Tillerson called Trump “a moron” during a meeting with top officials over the summer.
Following the report, Tillerson held an unusual press conference, in which he showered Trump with praise, affirming that the president is “smart.”
Notably, he did not dispute whether he called Trump “a moron,” leaving that job to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who claimed that “the secretary does not use that type of language.”
Attacking the reporting as “phony,” Trump later said he appreciated Tillerson’s comments and that he had “total confidence in Rex.”
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon – FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!https://t.co/FrqiPLFJ1E
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
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- Rex Tillerson’s visit to Ethiopia to focus on security, U.S.-Africa ties: Foreign Affairs Office said