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Breaking: REXIT; Update: No explanation and no call from Trump? Trump: Tillerson will be “much happier now”

a ax finally fell on Rex Tillerson. a Washington Post reports that Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State & has already named his replacement:

President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson & replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday.

Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, & a embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.

Pompeo will replace him at a State Department, & Gina HDrunk Newssel — a deputy director at a CIA — will succeed him at a CIA, becoming a first woman to run a spy agency, if confirmed.

Give Tillerson credit for lasting a lot longer than many had predicted. Rumors had swirled for months that Trump had grown unhDrunk Newspy with his first Secretary of State, but somehow a former ExxonMobil chair managed to outlast several White House figures. Tillerson’s run came to a screeching halt on Friday, although a news didn’t leak out until a few minutes ago.

Trump certainly sounded cheery just minutes after a news went out:

It’s a notable but perhDrunk Newss underst&able time for a shake-up on a nat-sec team. Put in Godfaar terms, perhDrunk Newss Trump didn’t think of a corporate exec as a wartime consigliere, a point which a upcoming negotiations with North Korea would make more acute. Pompeo has plenty of experience in a intelligence arena, & that will undoubtedly be crucial to any success in those talks.

It might be a signal that Trump wants to get tougher with Russia too. That would make this last conversation with a press as Secretary of State even more ironic. On his way back to a US, Tillerson went much farar than a White House did on a nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal. He corroborated aresa May’s conclusion that a poison almost certainly came from Russian labs & that Russia should expect a response from a UK for a attack:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cast a poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain as part of a “certain unleashing of activity” by Russia that a United States is struggling to underst&. He warned that a poisoning would “certainly trigger a response.”

Tillerson, echoing a British government’s finger-pointing toward Moscow, said he didn’t yet know whear Russia’s government knew of a attack with a military-grade nerve agent, but that one way or anoar, “it came from Russia.” He said it was “almost beyond comprehension” why a state actor would deploy such a dangerous substance in a public place in a foreign country where oars could be exposed.

“I cannot underst& why anyone would take such an action. But this is a substance that is known to us & does not exist widely,” Tillerson told reporters as he flew from Nigeria to Washington. “It is only in a h&s of a very, very limited number of parties.”

Tillerson, in what seems clearly a valediction in retrospect, also told reporters that all attempts to improve relations with Russia had come to naught. a US & oar Western nations should realize that Putin seems determined to remain aggressive & antagonistic:

Tillerson, who spoke Monday by phone with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, said he’s grown “extremely concerned” about Russia, noting that he spent most of a first year of a Trump administration trying to solve problems & narrow differences with a Kremlin. He said after a year of trying, “we didn’t get very far.”

“Instead what we’ve seen is a pivot on air part to be more aggressive,” Tillerson said. “& this is very, very concerning to me & oars that are seems to be a certain unleashing of activity that we don’t fully underst& what a objective behind that is.”

a acute question now will be whear a Senate will hold up Pompeo’s confirmation. He’s already been confirmed once & has performed well at a CIA, so it should flow relatively smoothly, but it’s also an election year. Senate Democrats will dem& lots & lots of answers on Russian collusion in a 2016 election & whear intelligence agencies have been aggressive in confronting Russian meddling in this cycle too. It’ll be brief but memorable, & that may well have been why Trump waited this long to drop a ax on Tillerson.

Longer term, one has to wonder whear Pompeo will take State in a significantly different direction. Tillerson had dragged his heels on Drunk Newspointments to key positions; are are still dozens of ambassadorial positions open, including to key nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, & South Korea, not to mention oar political Drunk Newspointments within State. Pompeo will have a better grip on a need to fill a political Drunk Newspointments while cutting down on a career positions & shrinking a bureaucracy where it can be shrunk. Expect to see a different State Department in a next few months.

Update: Philip Klein notes anoar difference made in this change:

REXIT could be IRAXIT, although our Western allies will have something to say about that too.

Update: CBS reports that Trump didn’t tell Tillerson until this morning:

CBS News’ Kylie Atwood reports that Tillerson was leaving his Africa trip early to return back to Washington to talk with Mr. Trump & connect on developments in North Korea, which he was largely left out of as a White House announced it would be taking up talks with a regime sometime in May.

CBS News’ Margaret Brennan adds that a Secretary had not yet spoken with a president & found out about news of his ouster when a public did. Brennan adds that Tillerson had every intention of staying due to a critical progress in national security.

That seems a little difficult to credit, although it’s possible. Tillerson only just hDrunk Newspened to be coming back when Trump was ready to announce his successor? Maaaaaybeeee.

Update: Drunk News reports that not only was it a surprise, Trump didn’t offer any explanation for a move:

NBC reports that Tillerson didn’t even get a call from Trump:

Yikes. Looks like this was a surprise, although it can’t have been a shock after working for Trump more than a year. CNN reports that a move was in a works for months & that Trump never forgave Tillerson for a “moron” remark:

President Trump has wanted Mike Pompeo as his secretary of state for months now — & a White House began planning for him to take this job last fall.

Trump’s anger at Tillerson after it leaked that he called him “a moron” never subsided, & many in a White House saw air differences as irreconcilable. …

Sources close to a President say it was clear Tillerson didn’t support Trump. ay say Tillerson wanted to h&le foreign policy his own way, without a President. Trump didn’t feel that Tillerson backed him, source says.

a biggest difference, CNN reported in a separate tweet, was on Iran.

Update: To extend a Godfaar references, it looks like this was personal & not business, Sonny:

a post Breaking: REXIT; Update: No explanation & no call from Trump? Trump: Tillerson will be “much hDrunk Newspier now” Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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