US PRESIDENT Donald Trump set the cat among the pigeons yesterday, sacking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo.
Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service on Twitter, Mr Trump said the new secretary would do “a fantastic job.”
Mr Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.
The president also nominated Gina Haspel to become the first female director of the CIA.
The Department of State said Mr Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was “unaware of the reason” for his firing.
Undersecretary Steve Goldstein said: “The secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security.”
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal “chemistry,” adding: “We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things.
“When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was OK.
“I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same.
“With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.
“Rex is a very good man. I like Rex a lot,” he said.
Mr Tillerson insisted that he had not had any thoughts of quitting and dismissed as “petty” a report that he had called Mr Trump a “fucking moron.”
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