Tillerson Finally Stood up to Russia – Trump Immediately Flipped Out and Fired Him
Trump shakes up State Department Hours After Tillerson Criticized Russia.
Rex Tillerson, the man once approved by the Kremlin to be America’s top diplomat, is out at the State Department, not long after publicly making a blunt assessment about Russia’s role in the poisoning of a Russian double agent in England. President Donald Trump announced that Tillerson will no longer serve as Secretary of State and that he is nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to fill the position. The announcement, of course, came in a tweet minutes after the Washington Post broke the story:
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Trump issued a longer statement to the Post:
“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State. Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.
Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.
Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well.”
Russian Action In UK will “Certainly Trigger A Response”
Trump may have asked for Tillerson’s resignation on Friday, but the Secretary of State served in his official capacity through at least Monday evening. He met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital city of Abuja. He also spoke with British foreign minister Boris Johnson about the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England — an act that which British Prime Minister Theresa May stated was “highly likely” to have been committed by the Kremlin.
According to Time, Tillerson told reporters on his return flight to Washington that Russia has become “more aggressive”:
“Instead what we’ve seen is a pivot on their part to be more aggressive,” Tillerson said. “And this is very, very concerning to me and others that there seems to be a certain unleashing of activity that we don’t fully understand what the objective behind that is.”
He said if the poisoning turned out to be the work of Russia’s government, “this is a pretty serious action.”
He then issued a statement that may have bothered his boss, given the delicacy and mystery surrounding Trump’s relationship with Russia:
“It certainly will trigger a response. I’ll leave it at that.”
Within hours, he was fired. Coincidence or not, it’s hardly a good look for a president who’s obsessed with insisting there’s no collusion.
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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)