Tuesday brought another shake-up to the Trump administration when the president abruptly announced the departure, or rather firing, of Rex Tillerson. The news came in the most unusual way, on Twitter, and allegedly unbeknownst to Tillerson.
If there is one thing you can count on President Trump doing, it is that he will do things his way. He did just that this week when he appeared to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter in a move very few people saw coming. At least not this way.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” tweeted Trump. “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!”
Over the last few months, rumors began to swirl about Tillerson’s future in the administration. The former Exxon-Mobil CEO often clashed with Trump over foreign policy issues. Eight months ago, NBC reported that Tillerson called the president a “f**king moron” during a meeting with Cabinet officials at the Pentagon.
Speaking to reporters before heading to California, Trump said that he and Tillerson had been “talking about this for months” but that “he made the decision [to replace Tillerson] by himself.” Trump added, “I think Rex will be much happier now.”
According to reports, Tillerson, who is returning from Africa, learned his fate the same way everyone else did. However, the administration is contradicting that claim. A White House official said that Chief of Staff John Kelly notified Rex of Trump’s decision on Saturday.
In addition to appointing Pompeo to run the State Department, Trump nominated Gina Haspel as the new CIA Director. Not only is she the first female appointed to run the agency, but she could be the most controversial appointee. Unfortunately, both will have to be confirmed by a Congress known for stonewalling Trump nominees.
Nevertheless, despite their disagreements, the president praised his outgoing Secretary of State for his service. “Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well,” said the president.