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Pompeo and Circumstance: A 'Rexit' State of Affairs

15 March 2018

And Bishop told reporters: "We had a very good working relationship with Rex Tillerson and I'm confident that will continue under Mike Pompeo".

Tillerson who had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming secretary of state appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet with North Korea's Kim.

A top aide said Tillerson did not speak to the president before his firing was announced and was not given a reason for his dismissal.

He did not mention anything about Trump.

Other European officials and former US officials said Pompeo's rise, if he is confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate, might have a more ambiguous effect on the negotiations and that, in any case, Trump's views are paramount. He planned to leave Foggy Bottom at the end of the day, even though his commission as the secretary of state expires 31 March midnight.

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.

Within hours, Goldstein himself was sacked.

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"We are now seeing President Trump surround himself with people who are like-minded", Blaxland said.

Tillerson canceled his entire schedule that Saturday in Ethiopia, with the State Department telling reporters he was sick.

Many of Trump's top national security aides, like Tillerson, have argued that the United States is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it.

The shake-up of his team shows his willingness to be well prepared for the unprecedented summit with Kim, which could be a historic breakthrough in the North Korea nuclear crisis, said Kim Yeon-chul, a professor at Inje University.

Some foreign policy experts expressed dismay at the decision to swap out top diplomats so soon before the unprecedented meeting and anxious that Pompeo would encourage Trump to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and be hawkish on North Korea. But it is not clear that Haspel has the same close relationship with Trump. "So we were not really thinking the same", he said.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 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.

However, it is understood that Mr Tillerson was warned by senior administration officials last Friday that his position was in jeopardy, prompting his surprise decision to cut short a trip to Africa and return to Washington.

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Tillerson's departure adds to a period of intense turnover within Trump's administration that has alarmed those both in and out of the White House. But President Trump wisely fired him as secretary of state for having an outlook different from Trump's, and from the agenda Trump was elected on.

I was never a fan of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Washington: Gina Haspel, US President Donald Trump's nominee to become the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, is a veteran, who once reportedly ran a secret prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were allegedly subjected to harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding.

Mr Pompeo, a strong ally of Mr Trump who regularly delivers the daily intelligence briefings to the president, is a former Tea Party Republican. He will do a fantastic job!

Given how often Tillerson disagreed during his confirmation hearing with Trump's positions, it is surprising that Tillerson lasted as long as he did.

As for a replacement, he expressed confidence in Pompeo and an expectation that he'll soon hear more from Haspel during confirmation proceedings.

In just four election cycles, 2010 through 2016, Pompeo received: $335,000 from Koch Industries employees (including $92,000 just from the Koch family); $69,000 from the Koch Industries PAC; $417,175 from Americans for Prosperity (which is the right-wing advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers); plus another $87,532 from "Other outside groups heavily funded by the Kochs".

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Pompeo and Circumstance: A 'Rexit' State of Affairs