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Trump appoints Tillerson as Secretary of State with Central Intelligence Agency director Pompeo

13 March 2018

Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State hours after Rex Tillerson backed the UK's claim that the Salisbury nerve agent attack was "highly likely" to have originated in Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump ousted Rex Tillerson as secretary of state Tuesday, making a surprise Twitter announcement that he's naming Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to replace him. "He will continue our program of restoring America's standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

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Trump's statement did not mention Tillerson, with whom he has been at odds on issues ranging from North Korea to steel and aluminum tariffs throughout the first 14 months of his administration. "Congratulations to all!" the president wrote in a tweet. Both she and Pompeo will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump's announcement.

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The rejig comes amid the turbulent human resource management at the White House, with four Trump aides deserting him in the past fortnight. The secretary has generally been cut out of the loop on major foreign policy moves, like Trump's impulsive decision to meet with Kim Jong-un. "I know I will learn from them and, as President Trump set out in his State of the Union Address, work hard to ensure that 'our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free'".

The two have also differed in their attitudes toward Russian Federation; while Trump prefers to give Vladimir Putin the benefit of the doubt on nearly everything, Tillerson has taken a more traditional and skeptical view of the country.

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Vice President (Mike) Pence attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics", he added. The hermetic kingdom of North Korea is one of the most closed countries in the world.

Trump appoints Tillerson as Secretary of State with Central Intelligence Agency director Pompeo