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Trump fires top diplomat after rifts over North Korea, Iran

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Updated: 03:34 GMT, Mar 15, 2018 | Published: 03:40 GMT, Mar 14, 2018 |
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U.S. President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday (March 13) after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The biggest shakeup of Trump’s Cabinet since he took office in January 2017 was announced by the president on Twitter as his administration works toward an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.

Trump tapped the CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

Tillerson’s departure capped months of friction between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive, who had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming secretary of state. The tensions peaked last fall amid reports Tillerson had called Trump a “moron” and considered resigning.

There had been reports in recent months that Tillerson could be replaced but senior State Department officials said he did not know why Trump pushed him out and that he had intended to stay in the job.

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