The White House’s State Department faced a major shakeup Tuesday morning when news broke that “President” Donald Trump had fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The firing comes at a contentious time for the Trump administration as talks with North Korea are on the table.
However, the reasoning behind Tillerson’s ousting isn’t exactly clear at this time. Furthermore, it’s not clear for Tillerson either, who has never given a hint of leaving his position. Tillerson’s undersecretary for public diplomacy released this statement, which was tweeted by Jake Tapper.
‘The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security.
‘He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers that he’s worked with throughout the world.
‘The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.
‘He is grateful for the opportunity to serve and believes public service is a noble calling. He wishes secretary-designate Pompeo well.’
Remarkable statement from State Department spokesman on Tillerson firing: pic.twitter.com/iBpLaK1tXw
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 13, 2018
Additionally, the Washington Post reported Trump did not deliver the news to Tillerson personally.
‘The White House, however, had told him the previous Friday that he would be dismissed, according to two administration officials. The news was not conveyed in person by Trump.’
The firing came despite the fact Tillerson had come home early from a trip to Africa. Regarding his early departure, he told reporters:
‘I felt like, look, I just need to get back.’
Trump may not have delivered the news personally or given any reasoning to Tillerson; however, he was definitely open with reporters on the decision. He commented:
‘We disagreed on things … the Iran deal. So we were not thinking the same. With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process.’
He did thank him for serving in his administration.
‘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.’
Tillerson’s firing honestly sounds like a boss hiring someone because they won’t be the yes person. Tillerson had not advertised major change and expressed caution regarding the upcoming talks with North Korea. Additionally, Trump agreed to the talks while Tillerson was in Africa.
Furthermore, Tillerson also accused Russia of being responsible for the poisoning of a Russian spy. Trump is too beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin to make such an accusation. He’s also expressed the belief that Russia did meddle in the 2016 US presidential election.
Featured image by Hector Vivas/Getty Images.