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Nothing is Possible Without Allies: Ousted Rex Tillerson

Tillerson would be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. 

Updated
World
2 min read
Rex Tillerson (L) and US President Donald Trump
i

After US President Donald Trump fired Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State on Tuesday, 13 March, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State addressed a press conference saying that his tenure will terminate on 31 March and he will delegate the responsibilities of office to Deputy Secretary Sullivan.

Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his department "exceeded the expectations of almost everyone" on North Korea.

He said there was more to be done with regard to stabilizing Iraq, defeating Islamic militants, dealing with Russia and forging a way forward with China.

Tillerson added that "nothing is possible without allies and partners."

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The biggest shakeup of Trump's Cabinet since he took office more than a year ago, which the president announced on Twitter, comes as the administration prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.

Trump tapped the CIA's Deputy Director Gina Haspel to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

Tillerson Allegedly Called Trump a “Moron” in Private

Tillerson’s departure caps months of tensions between the president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive.

Tillerson was reported to have privately called Trump a “moron” in July after the president suggested a 10-fold increase in the US nuclear arsenal.

Tillerson declined to directly address whether he had made the comment, although a State Department spokeswoman later issued a denial.

A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday, but did not want to make it public while he was on a trip to Africa. Trump's announcement came only a few hours after Tillerson landed in Washington after a trip that had been cut short.

The official said Trump works well with Pompeo, a former Republican Congressman from Kansas, and wanted him in place before the US president’s planned talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and trade negotiations.
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Tillerson had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming secretary of state. He appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet with North Korea's Kim.

Tillerson joined a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Trump took office in January 2017.

Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn, and press secretary Sean Spicer.

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