Trump re­places Tiller­son with Pom­peo in dra­matic shake-up

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -


PRES­I­DENT DON­ALD Trump un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dumped Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son yes­ter­day – by tweet – and picked CIA Di­rec­tor Mike Pom­peo to take his place, abruptly end­ing Tiller­son’s tur­bu­lent ten­ure as Amer­ica’s top diplo­mat and es­ca­lat­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s chaotic sec­ond-year shake-up.

Tiller­son was ousted barely four hours af­ter he re­turned from an Africa mis­sion and with no face-to-face con­ver­sa­tion with the pres­i­dent, the lat­est ca­su­alty of an un­ruly White House that has seen mul­ti­ple top of­fi­cials de­part in re­cent weeks. Cit­ing the Iran nu­clear deal and other is­sues, Trump said he and Tiller­son were “not re­ally think­ing the same.

“We dis­agreed on things,” Trump told re­porters at the White House – a diplo­matic take on a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship that in­cluded re­ports that Tiller­son had pri­vately called the pres­i­dent a “mo­ron.”

Ap­pear­ing in the State Depar tment brief­ing room for likely the last time, Tiller­son’s voice qua­vered as he de­scribed suc­cesses of his roughly one-year ten­ure: an eco­nomic pres­sure cam­paign on North Korea and a new Afghanistan plan.

“I will now re­turn to pri­vate life, pri­vate cit­i­zen, a proud Amer­i­can, proud of the op­por­tu­nity I’ve had to serve my coun­try.”

He did not men­tion Trump – other than to say that he’d spo­ken by phone to the pres­i­dent Tues­day while Trump was on Air Force One.

He said he would del­e­gate all au­thor­ity to Deputy Sec­re­tary John Sul­li­van, who will serve as act­ing sec­re­tary un­til Pom­peo is con­firmed. Tiller­son will re­main sec­re­tary in name un­til March 31, when he for­mally re­signs his com­mis­sion.

Rex Tiller­son

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