Mar 14 2018 by Desiree Burns
President Donald Trump unceremoniously dumped Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday - via Twitter - and picked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to shift from America's spy chief to its top diplomat. The president had tasked Tillerson with negotiating new restrictions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program with European partners by then, a tight deadline only complicated by today's announcement.
When Trump moved into the White House, he promised an "America First" platform that could have reshaped United States foreign and trade policy more radically than at any point since the beginning of the Cold War.
Tillerson cited the "maximum pressure campaign" against North Korea as his primary accomplishment at the State Department, but he did not mention Trump's recent decision to accept a meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
Critics expressed dismay at the decision to swap out top diplomats so soon before the unprecedented meeting and anxious that Pompeo would encourage Trump to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and be hawkish on North Korea.
According to the online news platform, Tillerson found out about his sack from the president's this morning, on his return from his African trip, the last stop of which was Nigeria.
Despite his signature catchphrase, Trump often lets others in the White House do his dirty work or pushes out subordinates by tweet or through public shaming.
The comedian's comment was a reference to an interview DeVos did with CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday night, in which the education secretary struggled to answer basic questions regarding schools in her home state of MI.
If he is confirmed by Congress, Mr. Pompeo's internal credibility, bureaucratic savvy and congressional ties could make him more effective than his predecessor. "When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was awful, he thought it was okay".
While Trump said he made a unilateral decision to fire Tillerson, the two had "been talking about this a long time".
When she was named deputy director previous year, intelligence officers who served with her and congressional officials said that in 2002, during Republican former President George W. Bush's administration, she ran a secret CIA prison in Thailand codenamed "Cat's Eye".
"No one who had a hand in torturing individuals deserves to ever hold public office again, let alone lead an agency", Human Rights First's Raha Wala said Tuesday.
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Trump nominated CIA deputy director Gina Haspel to take over as the agency's first female director.
But it is President Trump who disrespects diplomacy. Yet his ability to handle delicate topics like the North Korea issue remains to be seen, considering his lack of formal diplomatic experience. Gary Cohn recently announced his resignation as director of the National Economic Council. Tillerson and Trump disagreed on the correct course of action with Tillerson trying to diplomatically mend fences while Trump sought to align against Qatar. "North Korea summit, and his thinking is close to Trump's", the source said. "Tillerson had reliably, if unsuccessfully, pushed back against President Trump's more aggressive instincts on Iran ..."
The White House distanced itself from those remarks, and a few days later, Tillerson himself backed off.
Speculation that Tillerson would be fired grew last fall with the reports of his "moron" insult, which the secretary state never personally denied.
In December, Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a USA demand that Pyongyang must accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.
"And we commenced the steps to dramatically increase not just the scope, but the effectiveness of the sanctions" he said.
And yet the world may miss him badly.
The change in top diplomats comes at a critical point for the nation and raises concern over further damage to American global leadership.
The statement was relayed on CNN and quickly went viral online, feeding fuel to the speculation that Russian Federation is blackmailing Donald Trump, a central claim of the dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. A conservative Republican, he has criticized the Iran agreement as well as Muslim immigrants.
In contrast, Trump said he and Pompeo have "a similar thought process". The other, Undersecretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, plans to retire when his successor is confirmed.
Preparing to leave the State Department, Tillerson said he was committed to an orderly and smooth transition. Trump has also publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation. The White House said that chief of staff John Kelly had previously told Tillerson he would be replaced.
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