Trump Fires Tillerson

Pres. Trump fired Secty. of State Rex Tillerson in a peremptory and undiplomatic manner, by announcing the firing on Twitter.  It has been clear for some time that the two men did not see eye-to-eye on several issues.  Tillerson favoured a more nuanced diplomatic approach, for example to N. Korea and Iran, while  Trump favors a more direct approach, using sanctions and threats.  Trump also fired one of Tillerson’s aides for criticizing the firing of Tillerson.

Mike Pompeo, the current CIA Director, will be taking over at State, while a long-time CIA operative, Gina Haspel, will take the helm there.  If she is confirmed by Congress she will be the first woman director of the CIA.  Pompeo is more in line with Trump’s policies (or biases).  He is more anti-Islamic and pro-Israel and opposes the Iran nuclear deal much more strongly than Tillerson did.   He is also in favor of being more confrontational with the European allies and with China and also Russia.

These changes represent a further destabilization at the Trump White House, with many appointees resigning or being fired.  Recently Trump’s Senior Economic Adviser Gary Cohn resigned and the latest is Trump adviser John McEntee, who has been accused of domestic abuse.  But, in the longer run this replacement of Tillerson with Pompeo may mean a more coherent foreign policy for the USA, with the President and his Secty. of State reading from the same page.

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