Tillerson and Trump's rocky road to 'Rexit'

Gina Haspel

CIA shows CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel

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

In announcing Tillerson's sacking, Trump lavished praise on Pompeo, a former U.S. army officer and congressman who led the Central Intelligence Agency for almost 14 months, calling him "the right person for the job at this critical juncture".

The rare firing of the United States' top diplomat capped months of friction between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive.

Iran. In commenting to reporters on the appointment, Mr. Trump singled out the Iran nuclear agreement as an issue on which he disagreed with Mr. Tillerson, saying, "I think it's awful; I guess he thought it was O.K". "I wanted to break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently". "With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process".

Other former officials say Haspel is a flawless choice as both the spy agency and the Trump administration weather the tumult created by the sudden changes.

Former U.S. officials suggested that, as the administration nears a planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about Pyongyang's nuclear programme, it could rethink its stance on the Iran deal.

However, a statement from Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein, tweeted by ABC News' Conor Finnegan, contradicted Washington Post's version of the story.

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US stock index futures pared their gains and the dollar also trimmed gains versus the yen while extending losses versus the euro amid the news.

In Secretary Pompeo, the Europeans - who want to see the Iran nuclear deal continued - will find a more demanding counterpart than Tillerson. When you combine the president, who's coming in - as Trump likes to say ... his first government job is being president. As director of the C.I.A., Mr. Pompeo has likened Iran to the Islamic State and has tried to make a case that Iran is allied with Al Qaeda, even ordering another dive into already-exploited documents captured in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and then taking the highly irregular step of furnishing a cherry-picked result to an advocacy group that opposes the nuclear agreement.

His replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a West Point and Harvard Law grad, is no intellectual slouch.

Though Trump and other officials said he'd been considering replacing Tillerson for some time, the president said he made the decision only recently and "by myself". She blocked Haspel from becoming head of the agency's clandestine service in 2013.

Earlier, White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, refrained from saying Moscow was responsible.

President Donald Trump's pick to be the next director of the CIA is a career spymaster who oversaw torture at a secret prison during one of the darkest chapters in the agency's history. He will do a fantastic job!

Ironically, Trump complained that Tillerson was "too establishment" when he described his reasons for removing him - a corporate outsider who had ambitious plans to apply his experience running a global energy supermajor to wholly restructuring the State Department.

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Trump said he'd hire the best people.

Tillerson joined a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Trump took office in January 2017.

"The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security", Goldstein said.

During his time in the job, he was faced with an extraordinary array of foreign policy challenges - from North Korean nuclear threats, to Russian intervention in Ukraine, Syria and Western elections, to attacks on USA diplomats in Cuba.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., issued a statement thanking Tillerson and welcoming Pompeo to the new position.

Barely 24 hours after his visit to Nigeria, Rex Tillerson was sacked as the 69th United States Secretary of State.Tillerson was in Nigeria and Chad on the last leg of his maiden trip to Africa.

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