The "Passive-Aggressive" Firing of Rex Tillerson

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Rex Tillerson, who was sacked Tuesday as secretary of state, has been deeply involved in all of those issues, while operating with a skeleton staff that is expected to dwindle even more with his departure. Citing the Iran nuclear deal and other issues, Trump said he and Tillerson were "not really thinking the same".

It was this deal that earned Mr Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship, which President Vladimir Putin personally pinned on his chest in 2013 (that was before Russia grabbed Crimea but after the US-Russian relationship went cold).

Tillerson's departure comes ahead of expected upcoming talks with North Korea, announced last week.

Although Tillerson supported the approach to the war in Afghanistan that Trump announced a year ago, he felt no need to frame US goals in the same maximal terms as the commander in chief. Tillerson will remain secretary in name until March 31, when he formally resigns his commission.

Trump even tweeted, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man".

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Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein and other State Department officials said Tuesday morning that Tillerson hadn't learned he was dismissed until he saw Trump's early-morning tweet, and hadn't discussed it directly with Trump. By this point, in fact, anyone surprised by the reality-show nature of this White House's personnel moves has been living in a secluded oasis that I will very much want to visit after writing this. On Monday, Tillerson told reporters traveling with him that he was "very, very concerned" with Russia's growing aggression. Describing Tillerson's mood, Goldstein said: "He's accepting". "However, my understanding is he doesn't want the deal to disappear", said a former senior USA official. "We got along, actually, quite well, but we disagree on a lot of things".

Tillerson's sacking caps a tumultuous tenure at the State Department. In a statement released after the announcement, Trump said that Pompeo's "experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the Central Intelligence Agency have prepared him well for his new role".

All of the officials demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

A second, they said, is if she can help persuade Trump that Russian President Vladimir Putin is an increasingly aggressive adversary, and that failing to confront him would weaken US relations with its closest allies and with the CIA's most valuable partners.

Summary: On Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter before calling him hours later. He specifically mentioned the Iran nuclear deal as an example of disagreement.

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Trump's frayed relationship with Tillerson has been well-documented.

One is whether she and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis can prepare Trump adequately for his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Pressuring North Korea with sanctions and other isolation measures had been a top Tillerson priority, and he had been one of the administration's more vocal advocates for holding talks in some form with the North.

Lee said Pompeo will be confirmed as the next secretary of state.

He replaces Rex Tillerson as State Secretary. The current deputy director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, will succeed Mr Pompeo as the head of the intelligence agency, the first woman in U.S. history to hold the position.

The Washington Post reports that Pompeo, a former Republican lawmaker from Kansas, developed a warm relationship with the president. Both positions require confirmation by the Senate. Trump is notoriously uninterested in details, so Pompeo has shortened the material and reportedly avoids critical issues such as Russian interference in U.S. interests, which might anger the boss. He also praised Trump, saying, "His leadership has made America safer".

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One senior White House official said that when Trump made the decision to meet with Kim while Tillerson was in Africa, an aide asked if Tillerson should weigh in on the matter. The president had tasked Tillerson with negotiating new restrictions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program with European partners by then, a tight deadline only complicated by today's announcement.