Trump sacks Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, to replace him with CIA chief Pompeo

President Trump said Tuesday he has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea.

As Tillerson traveled through Africa, White House chief of staff John F. Kelly called to wake him up in the wee hours there Saturday to alert him that he would soon be replaced and to return to Washington as soon as possible, White House officials said.

Tillerson cut his trip short Monday to fly home, and his spokesman said Tuesday that the secretary of state was “unaware of the reason” for his firing and had not spoken directly with Trump.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson boards his plane to depart at the end of a five-country swing through Africa from Abuja, Nigeria, Monday, March 12, 2018.

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