Trump Fires Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson

Though not unexpected, the move, coming as it did in a tweet, is another instance of President Trump’s preference for making sudden, startling changes.

By Jill AmentMarch 13, 2018 10:14 am

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.

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.