Politics Tillerson fails to thank Trump after firing
Tillerson heads to Africa with explaining to do for Trump
As far as Africa's concerned, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration have some explaining to do.President Donald Trump's description of "s******e countries" in January was greeted with a mix of horror and outrage in Africa, where many don't know what to think about the U.S. president — or what he thinks of them. He's rarely spoken about priorities for the continent, which garnered a mere seven paragraphs on the very last pages of Trump's National Security Strategy.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked the American people, his State Department staff and the nation's extensive network of diplomats in his farewell statement on Tuesday.
One person he did not thank: President Donald Trump, the man who nominated him for the job but abruptly told the world of his ouster in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
The only mention of Trump came at the top of the statement when Tillerson mentioned that the President had called him at "a little after noontime from Air Force One" to talk about his ouster. That call came hours after Trump told the world he was replacing the former oil tycoon with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
U.S., South Korean intelligence probe reports of Kim Jong Un health woes
There's speculation that the North Korean leader may suffer from a range of conditions.While there is little hard medical evidence, according to sources, Kim's family history, physical appearance and behavior in recent years have led to speculation he may suffer from a range of conditions, including gout, diabetes, high blood pressure, a sexually transmitted disease and psychological issues.
Tillerson told reporters he is delegating all his authorities at the end of Tuesday and that his tenure will officially end on March 31.
Highlighting what he considers key accomplishments from his year in the top US diplomatic post, Tillerson mentioned his efforts to bring North Korea to the negotiating table through a "maximum pressure campaign."
"Working with allies, we exceeded the expectations of almost everyone with the DPRK maximum pressure campaign," Tillerson told reporters.
He also highlighted progress in Afghanistan and in the global campaign against ISIS in Syria.
Speaking from the agency's briefing room, Tillerson said his priority is to ensure a smooth transition.
Trump announced earlier that he had fired Tillerson, replacing his top diplomat ahead of a potential high-stakes sitdown between the President and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Tillerson's departure follows months of tension between him and Trump.
The President plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Tillerson, and picked Gina Haspel, the current CIA deputy director, to take over from Pompeo.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he respected Tillerson's "intellect" and said he "got along well with Rex."
"I think Rex will be much happier now," Trump said.
The big lesson of the Tillerson firing .
What surprised Washington foreign policy and political gurus was not Rex Tillerson’s dismissal as secretary of state, which had been rumored for months, but how it was done. President Trump fired his secretary of state in a tweet. It was the Washington equivalent of breaking up with your romantic partner with a Post-it.“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” the president tweeted at 8:44 a.m. Tuesday. “He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!”The dismissal stunned Washington. It shouldn’t have.
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