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Trump Fires Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson With a Tweet & His Top Aide Was Out the Door Shortly After

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been officially ousted from his position on Tuesday, and in true Trump fashion, the news was delivered to him (along with the rest of the public) in a tweet from the President’s Twitter account, The New York Times reports. If confirmed by the Senate, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo will become the new secretary of state, and his former position will be replaced by current deputy director Gina Haspel.

“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” writes Trump in his early-morning tweet. “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!”

Tillerson is one of the most recent individuals to join the extensive list of officials who have left or been fired from the administration, all who were either hired, nominated by Trump or were advisers to him, according to CNN. 

It’s no secret that Trump and Tillerson have been at odds for months (see: Tillerson reportedly refers to Trump as a “moron”). Their increasingly toxic relationship has called into question Tillerson’s fate, and the number of times Trump and Tillerson have clashed publicly on issues such as those involving Saudi Arabia and Qatar or America’s response to Russia’s cyber aggression have only increased speculations, the Times reports.

And their relationship is so toxic that it appears that Trump didn’t even discuss his intentions with Tillerson. The Times reports, however, that Tillerson may have received warning last Friday from White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, who called to advise Tillerson to cut his trip to Africa short. “You may get a tweet.”

In a transcript prepared by the Times where Trump answered some questions from reporters on the breaking news, Trump offers conflicting thoughts on his position with Tillerson.

“Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time,” says Trump. “We got along actually quite well. But we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal. I think it’s terrible. I guess he—it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something. And he felt a little bit differently.”

Additionally, Trump reveals that he made this decision on his own (if it wasn’t clear from the unconventional firing via social media).

“No, I really didn’t discuss it very much with him honestly,” says Trump. “I made that decision by myself. Rex wasn’t, as you know, in this country. I made the North Korea decision with consultation from many people but I made that decision by myself. I actually got along well with Rex. But really it was a different mindset. It was a different thinking.”

And as if the plot hasn’t thickened enough already, breaking news from the Associated Press reports that a top Tillerson aide has been fired by the White House for contradicting the official account of Tillerson’s dismissal by Trump, according to two U.S. officials.

Steve Goldstein, the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, had only been in his position for three months and has “angered” the White House previously for comments made about Trump, the AP reports. On Tuesday, Goldstein publicly issued a statement that Tillerson had not spoken with Trump and was “unaware of the reason” for his dismissal.

At this rate, it’s certainly a question of who will be next? It might be easiest to keep our eyes on Twitter. (Is this the Hunger Games or politics?)

Amanda graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelor's degree in both Communications and Public Relations. She also proudly served as the Editor in Chief of her college's Her Campus chapter, and as a Her Campus Editorial Intern. She is from Chicago, Illinois, which she can confirm is indeed a windy city. Today she can still be found furiously tapping away at her laptop keys and producing content for the internet. In her spare time she enjoys reading books (before watching their Netflix or movie adaptions), running for fun (yes, it can be fun) and spending time with her friends and family.
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