Trump sacks Tillerson as Secy of State

WASHINGTON DC- MARCH 13 President Donald Trump holds a meeting with members of his cabinet including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the Cabinet Room of the White House

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was tapped as Trump's first secretary of state.

Trump's "chaos-free" White House has been thrown even further into disarray Tuesday morning with the announcement that President Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

North Korea was a major point of contention between Trump and Tillerson during the latter's time in the White House.

Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m. that he was firing Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Haspel, who once oversaw the Central Intelligence Agency prison in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded, must be confirmed by the Senate before she can take over the position as the nation's top spy.

Tillerson's firing came barely four hours after he returned to Washington from a trip to Africa that he had cut short, telling reporters that he was exhausted after working most of the night two nights in a row and getting sick in Ethiopia.

Mr Tillerson was reported to be astonished at how little Mr Trump grasped the basics of foreign policy.

On Capitol Hill, former colleagues of Pompeo in the U.S. House said he would do well in his new post.

Haspel, who joined the CIA in 1985, has been chief of station at agency outposts overseas and has held several senior leadership positions including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and deputy director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action.

One State Department official also reportedly claimed that Tillerson only learned of his ouster Tuesday morning from Trump's tweet, not Friday as the White House suggests.

The state department turnover is occurring at a crucial time, as Trump is preparing to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to discuss the cessation of nuclear and missile tests, along with the ultimate denuclearization of the peninsula. And it's also notable that the two most notorious layoffs of the Trump administration, Jim Comey and Rex Tillerson appeared when both of them were out of town.

In brief remarks to the press pool on Tuesday, Trump praised Haspel, emphasizing that she was the first woman picked to lead the agency.

Tillerson's State Department is now leading talks with Britain, France and Germany, hoping to come to an understanding on the future of the Iran deal by within the next eight weeks- a deadline set by Trump in January for the European powers to renegotiate major terms of the non-proliferation agreement.

Markey added that he will ensure CIA Director Mike Pompeo - Trump's choice to replace Tillerson - is "subject to the highest level of scrutiny" during his Senate confirmation process.

"The secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues".

Hours before his ouster, Tillerson raised eyebrows by issuing some of his strongest statements yet on Russian Federation. It had already been weak across other G10 currencies after US inflation data came in as per forecasts but it skidded further as the sell-off accelerated. Having never worked in government before being named secretary of state, he struggled to adapt to Washington's ways and the administration's culture of backstabbing.

The president is adding that Tillerson will be "much happier now", and he appreciates his service.