SARAH Sanders, White House press secretary, has, indeed, told reporters that President Donald Trump asked Rex Tillerson to step aside as secretary. But a senior administration official said it was because the president “thought it was the right time for the transition with the upcoming North Korea talks and various trade negotiations.” “POTUS asked Tillerson to step aside on Friday.”
“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!” Trump tweeted.
According to the official, Trump has wanted Pompeo as his secretary of state for months now, and the White House began planning for him to take the job last fall, sources told CNN.
Trump’s anger at Tillerson after it leaked that his secretary of state called him “a moron” never subsided, and many in the White House saw their differences as irreconcilable.
Tillerson had few, if any, allies in the West Wing. Though John Kelly, chief of staff, was initially on his side when he took over, he eventually grew weary of defending him — especially after the “moron” remark, which Kelly saw as insubordination on Tillerson’s part.
Sources close to the president say it was clear Tillerson didn’t support Trump. They say Tillerson wanted to handle foreign policy his own way, without the president. Trump didn’t feel that Tillerson backed him, a source told CNN.
– Mar. 13, 2018 @ 14:45 GMT |