Rex Tillerson was fired as secretary of State on Tuesday, ending a tumultuous tenure as America's top diplomat that was marked by a series of public disagreements with his boss — President Donald Trump.
Trump said he will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace the former Exxon Mobil chief executive and Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency. She would become the first woman to do so.
The Washington Post first reported the news, which the president quickly confirmed in a tweet. Tillerson found out about his firing through Trump's tweet Tuesday morning, NBC News reported, citing a senior State Department official.
@realDonaldTrump: Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He 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!
On Tuesday morning, State Department spokesman Steve Goldstein said Tillerson had no plans to leave. He "did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason" for his firing, the spokesman added.
Two White House officials told the Associated Press that Tillerson found out he was fired Friday. The secretary got a call from White House chief of staff John Kelly but only got told an unspecified presidential tweet concerning him may be coming, officials at the State Department told the wire service.
Later, the White House fired Goldstein, who contradicted the administration's account of Tillerson's ouster, according to NBC News and the AP. Goldstein was the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.
Trump later told reporters he disagreed with Tillerson on some issues and feels the diplomat "will be much happier now."