Trump's sacking of Tillerson 'impulsive'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning said he was replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with former CIA director Mike Pompeo

Within hours of linking Russian Federation to the attack, Tillerson was ousted by President Trump. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!"

In an illustration of the gulf that has long separated Tillerson and Trump, the White House and the State Department vigorously disagreed about whether Tillerson had even been informed of his firing in advance.

Tillerson had visited Nigeria on the last leg of his official visits to Africa, and met President Muhammadu Buhari, during which they discussed issues of mutual interest to both countries.

He said he would delegate all authority to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, who will serve as acting secretary until Pompeo is confirmed.

The fact is that in many ways Tillerson - despite being a former ExxonMobil chief executive who had never served in government - represents the very Washington establishment that Trump showers with contempt. The abrupt announcement ended the turbulent tenure of the man who reportedly called the president a "moron" but wanted to stay, and deepened the disarray in the Trump administration.

Trump stated Tuesday that the reason behind the line-up change was Tillerson's support for the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Tillerson faced a tougher confirmation that most nominees to be secretary of state previous year as Democrats grilled him about his oil business ties to Russian Federation.

The president said he was nominating the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to take over for Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

"As director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernising our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the global intelligence community", Mr Trump said.

Mr Pompeo is strongly opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, and Mr Trump said they have a "very, very similar thought process". One of his first major decisions will be whether to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in May.

"I think it's bad, I guess he thinks it was OK", Trump said.

Tillerson, the White House said, asked that Trump wait until he returned to the USA, and he shortened his trip to Africa - where much of his mission revolved around softening the impact of Trump's recent reported criticisms.

"All our work is going into delivering a credible package that is sellable to Trump", said a European diplomat on condition of anonymity.

The prime minister described Central Intelligence Agency director Mr Pompeo as a great friend of Australia who was already well-known to the government.

Mr Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Mr Trump announced he would meet with North Korea's leader and become the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

Haspel will likely face questioning in her Senate confirmation for her involvement in the Thailand incident.

Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, following reports of Tillerson's firing, offered that the former secretary did not intend to leave his cabinet post and did not communicate with the president before being ousted. "I would love to be listening in on the diplomatic dispatches around the world right now".

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