Donald Trump dumps Rex Tillerson as secretary of state

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The president plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked on Twitter after returning from an Africa trip in which he was out of the loop on North Korean talks and contradicted the White House position on Russia's responsibility for poisoning a British spy.

Rumors of Tillerson's ouster first started late a year ago, when reports that appeared to be targeted leaks from the White House emerged that Trump was souring on his secretary of state, following policy disputes and embarrassing leaks.

Mr Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Mr Trump's announcement.

President Donald Trump says he and ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "disagreed on things". "When you look at the Iran deal: I think it's bad, I guess he thinks it was OK". I guess he thought it was okay.

Goldstein said, "We wish Secretary Pompeo well". I think it's going to go well. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. But Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein said Tillerson "did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason".

President Donald Trump's choice to be the first female director of the CIA is a career spymaster who once ran an agency prison in Thailand where terror suspects were subjected to a harsh interrogation technique that the president has supported. Two officials said Trump wanted to have a new team in place ahead of an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as trade talks.

The State Department has confirmed the fact.

Trump conceded Tuesday that he and Tillerson often were not on the same page. It was later announced he was flying back to Washington DC on Tuesday.

Rex Tillerson, who as a long-time corporate executive was an unconventional pick for secretary of state, seemed like he was on thin ice from very early on in his administration tenure.

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He was distrusted by veteran State Department employees, who viewed him as an outside interloper with little affinity for the organisation he headed. Trump offered no explanation for the change. Now it's clear he had one move in particular in mind.

Haspel, the current deputy CIA director, also helped carry out an order that the agency destroy its waterboarding videos.

Reince Priebus. The former chairman of the Republican National Committee was replaced by John Kelly as Trump's chief of staff in July.

Reports had swirled since a year ago of a schism in the Trump administration between the commander-in-chief and his top diplomat.

The president called her by her first name Tuesday morning in comments to reporters, and praised her.

In December Mr Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key USA demand that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

The White House - which insisted North Korea must first accept any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal - distanced itself from his remarks.

Mr Trump contradicted Tillerson's efforts a day later.

Pompeo said in a statement of the president's decision, "If confirmed, I look forward to guiding the world's finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President's foreign policy".