'Bomb Iran & execute Snowden': Brief history of Pompeo's foreign policy rhetoric

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington DC

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington DC

The 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive and the president had strained relations and the two had differences over a host of issues including the United States policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran.

Rex Tillerson, outgoing US Secretary of State makes a statement after his dismissal at the State Department in Washington, DC, March 13, 2018.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest top official to leave a US administration where turnover has been inordinately high.

President Donald Trump's shock Twitter announcement today that he's replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Iran hard-liner Mike Pompeo immediately generated considerable backlash from advocates who fear that he could precipitate the president's threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking from the agency's briefing room Tuesday, Tillerson said his priority is to ensure a smooth transition.

The odds are microscopic that direct talks between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will lead to an agreement for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Tillerson's ouster had been rumored for months, as Trump and Tillerson rarely seemed to be on the same page concerning the White House's foreign policy, but the news still came as a shock to most in Washington.

President Trump on Tuesday announced that he sought Tillerson's resignation and nominated Pompeo for the post, who he said had a "similar thought process" to himself.

"We disagreed on things", Trump told reporters at the White House - a diplomatic take on a fractious relationship that included reports that Tillerson had privately called the president a "moron".

"It's a surprise, but Japan-U.S. ties won't be shaken". Trump often tweeted out positions contrary to those his chief diplomat had publicly espoused.

"I'm not sure how strong a force Tillerson was on the question of the Iran deal so the underlying assumption that Tillerson is keeping Trump in the Iran deal, I'm not sure that's the real story", Murphy told Al-Monitor.

Goldstein was sacked by the White House shortly after issuing the statement.


Hours after his boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was ousted Steve Goldstein, the under secretary of public affairs at the State Department has been fired by the White House.

Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a sceptical Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran and other world powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and he has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest top official to leave a U.S. administration where turnover has been inordinately high.

Tillerson, who was formerly the head of ExxonMobile, was appointed to the position of Secretary of State past year, and he and the president have had numerous public disagreements.

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.

"I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me", Haspel said in a statement.

Trump's relationship with Russian Federation and Russia's alleged involvement with the 2016 presidential election is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who also serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Pompeo's tenure at the CIA helped prepare the former Republican congressman from California for the challenges he will face at the State Department if he is confirmed.

Lawmakers from both major parties have criticised those cuts and the administration's failure to fill dozens of open jobs there. But over time, many lawmakers grew to appreciate Tillerson as a relatively steady hand in the chaotic Trump administration.

"I've talked to the president many, many times and I know Secretary Tillerson".

"As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I hope that she will address her role in that program during her confirmation hearing before our committee", King said.

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