Trump's Defense Secretary Loses an Ally With Tillerson Firing

Tillerson and Erdogan

Trump's firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touched off a confirmation battle that will play out ahead of midterm elections, which determine party control of Congress.

Assuming the Senate goes along, CIA director Mike Pompeo will move to State and CIA deputy director Gina Haspel will become the first woman to head the clandestine agency.

Menendez told reporters Tuesday that the State Department has lacked stability at a time when Trump's "bombast against diplomacy undermines the very essence of what our people can do overseas". From the Times: "Mr. Tillerson and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, had run something of a tag team to keep the president in check, finding common ground on policies from the Middle East to East Asia before stepping into the Situation Room".

Despite this, experts believe China might be sad to see the back of Tillerson, who largely tried to maintain historic U.S. foreign policy positions. I thought that was very deplorable and unfortunate the way it happened.

Lu said China hopes that the United States "can maintain the positive situation that has recently developed on the Korean peninsula, including the positive desire shown by both the American and North Korean sides for willing, direct talks". In August 2017, Tillerson said "the president speaks for himself" when Trump initially defended the white supremacist march in Charlottesville.

Though he has disagreed with the president-notably, Mr Pompeo has maintained that Russian Federation sought to influence the general election in 2016, though he was criticised for saying this had not altered its outcome-he is likely to be more supportive of Mr Trump's "America First" view of the world than Mr Tillerson was.

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Xinhua/Sipa USA/NewscomNothing about Rex Tillerson's firing should surprise us, except perhaps its timing.

However, given the significance Trump attaches to India, it would be a tough call to change the dates of the maiden India-US two plus two dialogue, they said.

Is there a possible link between Tillerson's tour of Africa and his being sacked by Trump? As Trump mentioned Tuesday morning, Pompeo is much more skeptical of the Iran deal than Tillerson is. From that she rose to manage the global clandestine network before becoming deputy director one year ago. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's awful".

"I think we need a chief diplomat before the North Korea meeting", the Texas Republican said. Tillerson was also concerned about the consequences that steel and aluminum trade tariffs, which have angered China, would have on U.S. allies.

"We were not really thinking the same", said Trump.

But Pompeo has also gone against Trump on some issues. But after 14 demoralizing months of budget cuts and staffing reductions for the State Department, his conservative political bent and closeness to President Donald Trump could breathe new vigor into an agency all too often sidelined on numerous nation's most pressing national security matters.

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