March 13, 2018
– leaving secretary of state baffled at sudden replacement by CIA boss Mike Pompeo
- Dramatic morning tweet by the president announces that Rex Tillerson has been fired as Secretary of State and replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo
- Under secretary of state Steve Goldstein revealed Trump did not speak to Tillerson and ousted secretary of state has no idea why he was fired
- ‘The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve,’ Goldstein said
- Tillerson, the former boss of Exxon Mobil, had just been on a trip to Africa and was last seen boarding his Air Force place on Monday
- His last public act was to blame Russia for the poisoning of its former spy Sergei Skripal at a British pizza restaurant – something White House had not done
- Gina Haspel becomes first ever women to be Director of the CIA after clandestine career and involvement in ‘black sites’
Trump tells media why he fired Rex Tillerson
Video (mirrored) published on March 13, 2018 courtesy of CNN
President Donald Trump fired his secretary of state on Tuesday without telling him personally, announcing on Twitter that he would dismiss Rex Tillerson and elevate the nation’s spymaster to the role of global diplomat-in-chief.
And he said he will appoint a woman to lead the CIA for the first time in history.
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein said in a statement that Tillerson ‘had every intention of staying.’
‘The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve,’ Goldstein added.
Despite the awkwardness of the moment for Tillerson, the president took the public spotlight for himself.
As he left the White House for a trip to California, Trump told reporters that he and Tillerson had been ‘talking about this for a long time’ but that he ‘made the decision by myself.’
‘We disagreed on things,’ Trump said, citing the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.
‘I think Rex will be much happier now,’ he declared.
Replacement: Mike Pompeo, who had been CIA director, will now lead the State Department and Gina Haspel, a career CIA officer who was its deputy director will become the first woman to lead it
‘We were not really thinking the same. With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.’
He gushed that the future secretary as Mike Pompeo has ‘tremendous energy, tremendous intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good.’
The president had tweeted earlier that Pompeo ‘will do a fantastic job!’
‘Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!’
Haspel was the CIA’s deputy director, a career officer who was a longtime clandestine officer.
In a statement, Trump said Pompeo ‘graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.’
He called Haspel’s move to the CIA’s reins ‘a historic milestone.’
Trump also had words of praise for Tillerson: ‘A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well,’ he said.
The president, however, had clashed with Tillerson over and over again in the past year, seeing him as a relic of the Republican establishment at a time when the nation needed more unconventional thinking.
The Washington Post reported that Tillerson was ousted on Friday, meaning that the White House known best for leaking information kept it a secret all weekend.
The outgoing diplomat’s last act in office was a shot across Vladimir Putin’s bow, saying Monday that the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in the UK ‘clearly came from Russia’ – and vowing to respond – hours after the White House refused to blame the Kremlin.
In a strongly worded statement, he slammed Russia as an ‘irresponsible force of instability in the world’ and gave the British government his backing after Prime Minister Theresa May pointed her own finger toward Moscow.
‘We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week,’ Tillerson said Monday.
What Secretary of State Tillerson’s Firing Means
March 13, 2018
by Paul Craig Roberts
Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) says Tillerson’s firing indicates that the Trump administration is disintegrating. I understand why Senator Schumer sees it that way, especially following all the other dismissals and resignations.
I see it differently. The firing of Secretary of State Tillerson, the movement of CIA Director Pompeo to Secretary of State, and the promotion of Gina Haspel, who oversaw the secret CIA torture prisons in Thailand (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/us/politics/cia-deputy-director-gina-haspel-torture-thailand.html), indicate that the military/security complex has closed its grip on the Trump regime. There will be no more talk of normalizing relations with Russia.
The combination of the Israel Lobby, the neoconservatives, and the military/security complex have proven to be too powerful for peace to be established between the two nuclear powers. If you look at Trump’s administration, the above three forces are those in charge.
Israel remains determined to use the US military to destabilize Syria and Iran in order to isolate Hezbollah and cut off the milita’s support and supplies. The neoconservatives both support Israel’s interest and their own desire for Washington’s hegemony over the world. The military/security complex intends to hold on to the “Russia threat” as a justification of its budget and power.
The presstitutes are in complete harmony with the scheme. Although Russiagate has been proven to be false charges orchestrated by the DNC, FBI, and CIA, the presstitutes continue to repeat the charges as if evidence exists that proves the charges to be true. The “stolen election” is fiction turned into fact. And now we have a new charge, that Putin ordered a former British spy in England to be eliminated while sitting on a park bench with the use of a highly unlikely form of military poison. The charge is preposterous, but that is not preventing the fiction from becoming fact.
Having served in Washington for a quarter century and having known members of the British government, I do not believe that any of them believe the Russiagate and Skripal poisoning stories. What is happening is that an agenda has taken precedence over truth.
This is an extremely dangerous agenda. Russia’s new weapons easily give Russia military superiority over the US. As China and Iran see the situation similarly to the Russians, the US is greatly out-classed. Yet, Washington and its vassals persist in making violent and false charges and threats against Russia, Iran, and on occasion China. Russia, Iran, and China know that these charges are false. Confronting an endless string of false and hostile charges, they prepare for war.
The world is being driven to war, which would be nuclear, by a tiny minority: Israeli Zionists, neoconservatives, and the US military/security complex. We are witnessing the most reckless and irresponsible behavior in world history. Where are the voices against it?
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.