President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday morning and announced he will nominate current CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.
Trump didn’t specify the reason, but top aides say the president had a disconnect with Tillerson wanted his team in place before upcoming North Korea talks and various trade negotiations, CNN reported.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
But Tillerson doesn’t know why he was fired and had intended to stay, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein said in a statement before he himself was fired hours later.
The president has reportedly seethed since an October story by NBC that Tillerson called him a “moron” during a Pentagon meeting, though Trump at the time dismissed the report as “fake news.” Tillerson called the report “petty” but didn’t outright deny that he had made the statement.
Also on Monday, Trump’s personal assistant John McEntee got the boot for an “unspecified security issue.”
McEntee, who was escorted off the White House premises, was not given time to gather belongings that included his coat.
While it’s been unclear why McEntee was fired, there reportedly may have been something in his background check.