President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
The change of Trump’s top diplomat comes as the US is engaging in delicate, high-stakes negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program and the prospect of Trump meeting Kim Jong Un this spring.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he respected Tillerson’s “intellect” and said he “got along well with Rex.”
“I think Rex will be much happier now,” Trump said.
Tillerson did not speak to Trump and is unaware of the reason behind his firing, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein said.
Sources close to the President say it was clear Tillerson didn’t support Trump. They say Tillerson wanted to handle foreign policy his own way, without the President. Trump didn’t feel that Tillerson backed him, a source told CNN.