Trump fires US Secretary of State day after departing Abuja

Trump fires US Secretary of State day after departing Abuja

US President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo.

Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service on Twitter, Mr Trump said the new state secretary would do “a fantastic job”.

Mr Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.

Mr Tillerson was on an official tour of Africa last week, when he was apparently caught unawares by Mr Trump’s announcement that he would hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The top US diplomat’s team said he was feeling unwell on Saturday and later in the weekend the state department said he would cut short his tour by a day.

Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with nuclear-armed North Korea.

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

The New York Times quoted sources as saying Mr Trump was irritated by Mr Tillerson’s body language during meetings.

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