President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he's naming Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. "Congratulations to all!" A White House official said Trump wanted to have a new team in place ahead of upcoming talks with North Korea and various trade talks. He will do a fantastic job!
He continued, "Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service".
Trump and Tillerson have disagreed again and again since Trump took office, with Tillerson taking the moderate stance on issues from the Paris climate agreement to the Iran deal.
In a written statement that followed the tweet, Pompeo said that, if confirmed, "I look forward to guiding the world's finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President's foreign policy".
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The decision ends a tumultuous tenure for Tillerson, who often seemed at odds with Trump or out of the loop altogether.
Mr. Trump made Tuesday's move while Mr. Tillerson, formerly the CEO of ExxonMobil, was out of the country, finishing a week-long tour of several African nations.
The president has accepted an invitation, conveyed by South Korea, to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un within the next two months to discuss denuclearization. In October, NBC news reported that Tillerson called the president a "moron", something Tillerson never actually denied.
The two have also differed in their attitudes toward Russian Federation; while Trump prefers to give Vladimir Putin the benefit of the doubt on nearly everything, Tillerson has taken a more traditional and skeptical view of the country.