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losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018


Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson

14 March 2018, 05:56 | Maryann Sutton

CIA AFP Getty Images

Gina Haspel

President Trump's decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday had members of Maine's congressional delegation focusing on his replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and the challenges he will face from Russian Federation and North Korea if he is confirmed by the Senate.

Nearly from the get-go, Tillerson, the former CEO of Irving-based Exxon Mobil, seemed out of sorts and out of step with his mercurial boss. The president and Tillerson were reported to have disagreed on a number of key issues, including North Korea, moving the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the removal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal.

The president, of course, took notice.

He said he suspects Freeland and her team will now be researching Pompeo's home state of Kansas, looking to find areas of commonality and cooperation - particularly on trade.

"I think it's awful, I guess he thinks it was OK", Trump said.

"I know Mike Pompeo from our time serving in the House of Representatives together and wish him the best of luck in this new and important role", Poliquin said.

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The decision was met with public outrage, and Tillerson's aide Steve Goldstein was one of the many people inside the White House who issued a statement regretting the ousting of Tillerson. Between 2003 and 2005, she oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded, current and former USA intelligence officials told the Associated Press.

"The incoming foreign secretary is well known to Australia".

Before the news of dismissal broke out, Goldstein told the media on behalf of the State Department via email that Tillerson "had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues". Hours later, he was sacked, too. Tillerson and Trump publicly clashed throughout the first year of Trump's presidency. Compare Tillerson's response to that of Pompeo. The accord was signed in 2015 by almost every country in the world, including the US and China.

Trump has also faced a cloud of ethics allegations surrounding other members of his Cabinet, including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin - the latter of whom is said to be on thin ice with the president.

North Korean diplomacy was another wedge point; Trump's recent plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un came after Tillerson said the two countries were still far away from direct negotiations.

"Any officials negotiating with the Europeans right now will get a much more aggressive set of requirements from Pompeo", said Richard Nephew, a former White House and State Department official who worked on Iran during the Obama administration. Trump was slower to embrace that hard line, though he said after a Tuesday phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May that Russian Federation needed to provide "unambiguous answers" about the incident, adding that whoever was responsible should face consequences.



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