In a tweet this morning, President Donald Trump announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out. The move wasn’t entirely unexpected by those who have been following diplomacy and foreign affairs since the start of the Trump administration.
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
Journalist Jake Tapper tweeted a statement from Tillerson’s office:
Christian Caryl, global opinions editor for the Washington Post says that while the relationship between Trump and Tillerson has been fraught for some time, the situation with North Korea is a likely contributor to Tillerson’s firing.
“Right in the lead up to President Trump’s decision to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, we heard Tillerson saying that he didn’t think it was such a great idea,” Caryl says. Last October, the positions were reversed, Caryl says, with Tillerson advocating for negotiations as Trump talked tough.
Caryl says Trump and Tillerson were “a bad fit.”
“I actually thought Tillerson was a very interesting choice for secretary of state,” he says, “precisely because his previous experience as head of Exxon has brought him around the world, given him a lot of experience handling delicate foreign policy issues.”
In the end, Caryl says, Tillerson seemed to be “out of his depth” in foreign policy, as well as out of sync with Trump.
Pompeo, who will succeed Tillerson at State, is the current CIA director. Caryl says he is perceived as being better more in sync with Trump’s ever-changing policy approaches.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.