Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

US President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Tuesday morning, and immediately announced that he would be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The president also nominated Gina Haspel to become the first female director of the CIA.

Mr Tillerson reportedly learnt about his dismissal via Trump’s favourite medium of communication – Twitter.

Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service on Twitter, Mr Trump said the new state 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.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House shortly afterwards, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry".

"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,” he said.

The Department of State said Mr Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was "unaware of the reason" for his firing.

Under Secretary Steve Goldstein said: "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security."


Tillerson visited Jamaica on March 7 and discussed several matters with his host, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, including strengthening of security cooperation, boosting the US Jamaica economic partnership, energy security and various regional issues affecting CARICOM and the economic and political situation in Venezuela.

Reacting to the Tillerson dismissal, Jamaica's Foreign Affairs Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, issued a statement, saying her ministry had taken note of the change "within the Administration of the United States of America."

"We wish Mr. Tillerson all the very best and thank him for the frank and wide-ranging discussions we held here in Kingston," she said, adding that the Jamaican Government looked forward to meeting his designated successor "in due course".

"Jamaica and the United States of America have always had strong ties fo cooperation, trade and friendship, and we intend to continue to build on same," the statement concluded.


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