The president has removed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been nominated to replace the former Exxon executive. President Trump also announced that he has selected Gina Haspel to replace Pompeo at the CIA.
Tillerson’s tenure has been marked by media reports of clashes between him and the president. He reportedly called the president a “moron” and didn’t even really deny saying it, though he did try to deflect questions, calling them “petty.” NBC news reported on the alleged insult after a White House meeting regarding the administration’s policy for Afghanistan. The president reacted expectedly, tweeting, “NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news rating are way down!”
Although Tillerson followed up the “moron” accusations with praise for the president, calling him a man who “loves his country” and “puts Americans and America first,” it apparently was not enough to keep him from being ousted.
On his way out, Tillerson said last week’s nerve agent attack in the UK was “clearly” Russia’s work. The White House, while claiming to stand by Britain as an ally, did not go so far as to blame Russia directly.