Donald Trump has fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. The turmoil in this administration has become so routine that when I heard the news this morning, my only sense of surprise was that he was the person who was fired since the on-going speculation had pointed to other figures as being the next to go. What is noteworthy, though not surprising, is how ungracious Trump was in taking this action. Rather than telling him personally, Tillerson apparently first heard of it when Trump tweeted the news out to the world.
Donald Trump has fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and announced his intention to replace him with the CIA director, Mike Pompeo.
Trump announced the shake-up in a tweet, adding that Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s deputy, would become the CIA’s first female director.
Tillerson’s departure had long been predicted after a series of clashes over policy. But the announcement, made just four hours after the secretary of state landed in Washington after a tour of Africa, took Tillerson unawares.
Under-secretary of state Steve Goldstein said: “The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling.”
Tillerson’s dismissal was immediate. State officials said they did not know if he would clear his office or if he would send someone to do it for him. Officials said Tillerson had shown every intention of staying and had a full programme of commitments. Tillerson had recently predicted he would stay in office for all of 2018 at least.
Although Tillerson was not great at his job, the new replacements, if you can imagine it, are even worse. Pompeo is a right-wing extremist and Haspel was a key and enthusiastic figure in implementing illegal ghastly torture practices on detainees (see also here).
And to add to the chaos, under secretary of state Steve Goldstein who was quoted in the above piece was also fired today for contradicting the White House account of Rex Tillerson’s dismissal. Is there anybody left at the state department to turn off the lights at night?
Meanwhile, lost in the turmoil, was that Trump’s long time close personal assistant John McEntee was also summarily fired today and escorted out of the premises.
President Donald Trump’s longtime personal aide John McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing told CNN.
The charges are not related to the President, the source said.
Given the deep corruption of this administration and Trump’s family. McEntee’s firing must have been pushed by people other than Trump because he has been immediately hired by Trump’s re-election campaign.
So the Trump administration continues its downward slide into the bottomless pit of corruption and ineptitude.