Trump axes Tillerson, names CIA's Pompeo chief US Diplomat

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Rex Tillerson, shown here at a Senate hearing in 2017, is out as Secretary of State. (STARS AND STRIPES)
Rex Tillerson, shown here at a Senate hearing in 2017, is out as Secretary of State. (STARS AND STRIPES)

Trump axes Tillerson, names CIA's Pompeo chief US Diplomat

by: Josh Lederman and Zeke Miller | .
Associated Press | .
published: March 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unceremoniously dumped Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday — via Twitter — and picked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to shift from America's spy chief to its top diplomat. The abrupt announcement ended the turbulent tenure of the man who reportedly called the president a "moron" but wanted to stay, and deepened the disarray in the Trump administration.

The plans to oust Tillerson had been drawn up months ago, but the timing caught even senior White House officials unawares. The firing was just the latest in an exodus of administration officials, including those in Trump's inner circle, with the president already setting records for staff turnover and several other Cabinet secretaries facing ethics investigations.

However, Trump emphatically rejected talk of chaos in his year-old administration as he nears a pivotal moment on the international stage with his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He declared Tuesday, "I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want."

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