Trump replaced Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Tuesday morning. The news apparently not only blindsided Republican legislators but also Tillerson himself. While early reports said it wasn’t clear how much of a heads up he’d been given, it was later confirmed that Tillerson found out about his firing on Twitter.
“WOW! The State Department now confirms to @CNN’s @liselabottcnn that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he was fired from President Trump’s tweet,” tweeted CNN executive producer Javi Morgado.
Trump’s announcement included not only news of Tillerson’s leave, but also of the hiring of Pompeo and his replacement at the CIA. Despite the fact that one of these three people was just revealed to be unemployed, he still ended the tweet by saying, “Congratulations to all!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein released a statement confirming that Tillerson had been unaware of Trump’s plan to get rid of him.
“The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security,” said the statement. “He will miss his colleagues at the the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world.”
The statement went on to say that Tillerson had yet to speak to Trump and that he was “unaware of the reason” for his ouster.