Rex Tillerson to step down by March end

Goldstein publicly contradicted the White House account of how Tillerson was sacked on Tuesday morning.

It is not merely that Tillerson thought Obama's sweetheart deal with Iran was "okay", as Trump complained in announcing his termination of Tillerson.

Tillerson defended his record Tuesday, telling reporters that "working with allies, we exceeded the expectations of nearly everyone" with the "maximum pressure" campaign to denuclearize North Korea.

Tillerson said to the press that he and Trump largely disagreed about Russian Federation, which has recently threatened the United States with nuclear war but which also seems to have a personal positive relationship with Trump.

Tillerson, in turn, was annoyed at the layers of bureaucracy and what he saw as continued chaos and ineptitude months into the new administration, people familiar with his thinking said.

He did not mention Trump - other than to say that he'd spoken by phone to the president Tuesday while Trump was on Air Force One.

"This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed", said one us official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Tillerson said his commission as Secretary of State will terminate on March 31st. Tillerson had credibility problems because he publicly disagreed with Trump on several major issues.

Steve Goldstein, the department's under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, confirmed on Tuesday that Tillerson found out about his own firing from Trump's tweet announcing it, and that Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" for his dismissal, which he had not discussed with Trump.

Finnegan tweeted: "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security". But this dynamic led to inconsistencies in White House positions. "And I can tell you who is going to win".

The turnover in senior government officials will likely persist.

Hours later, Tillerson appeared at the State Department and said "effective at the end of the day" he is delegating all authority to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Pompeo clearly has a much closer relationship with Trump and has displayed more public fealty to him.

"I think Rex will be much happier now".

It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming US secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal.

Pompeo has advocated for military strikes against Iran while lobbying hard against the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Trump on Tuesday singled out the Iran nuclear deal as one of the main differences he had with Tillerson.

Tillerson has no singular foreign policy cause or achievement to his credit, but he had worked to open the door to talks with North Korea.

Rex Tillerson did not have the worst policy instincts of the Trump administration. Trump reportedly said he wished his secretary of state were tougher. While Trump thanked Tillerson "for his service", he was sparing in his praise of the 65-year-old former Exxon chief, long rumored to be on the way out.

Trump tapped the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

Mr Pompeo, a strong ally of Mr Trump who regularly delivers the daily intelligence briefings to the president, is a former Tea Party Republican. Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against Pompeo's nomination to be Central Intelligence Agency director previous year because of Paul's concerns over Pompeo's support for torture and domestic spying. Both positions require a confirmation vote from the Senate.

Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opposed the nomination of Haspel and called for total transparency about her background.

"Tillerson's replacement by. Pompeo, who is known as a political partisan and an opponent of the Iran agreement, raises the prospect of the collapse of that deal, and increases the possibility that the administration might soon face not one, but two nuclear crises", he said. Mr Tillerson had not been informed of Mr Trump's plans to meet Kim Jong-un before the president's surprise announcement last week. I did not believe being the CEO of an oil company made him qualified to be our country's lead diplomat.

Vanessa Coleman