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Trump fires chief diplomat Tillerson after clashes, taps Pompeo

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, ousting the embattled top diplomat after a series of public rifts. Jonah Green reports.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out.

President Trump tweeting news of his replacement on Tuesday.

“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!”

Tillerson has been on a week-long trip to five African countries, but cut his trip short in order to return to Washington on Tuesday.

He and the president have often been at odds over certain issues, especially on North Korea, when Trump publicly scolded him that he was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man” or on Monday, when Tillerson, but not the White House, said it was likely Russia was behind the nerve agent attack in the UK.

The former Exxon CEO famously has also had to deflect reports that he once called his boss a “moron” – though he never explicitly denied it.

Pompeo, a close Trump ally, takes the reins at State at a busy time, as the American president has agreed to meet with the leader of North Korea, with the terms, date and location of the gathering still up the air.

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