Trump Fires Rex Tillerson and Will Replace Him With C.I.A. Chief Pompeo

Rex W. Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, had been among President Trump’s most well-regarded cabinet choices. He is replaced by Mike Pompeo, currently the C.I.A. director.

Comments: 258

  1. In the words of the late Gomer Pyle, "surprise, surprise, surprise!" Trump finally went for a compliant sycophant zealot like Pompeo to get him ready for his great North Korean adventure.

    No matter. The damage is already done. Tillerson has completely destroyed State anyway...


  2. Sessions can't be too far behind. When hiring "...only the best" we've come to know that to mean, "...only the loyalist." Tillerson obviously marched to a different (or indifferent) drum. The big surprise is that he lasted this long.

  3. Scottso,

    The advantage Sessions has over Tillerson is that he, at least, is advancing Trump's white supremacist agenda and isn't speaking ill of Russia as Tillerson did. Of course, he's not getting Trump off the hook with Mueller...

  4. Sessions also has friends in the Senate.

  5. Tillerson complained about the Russian use of nerve gas in the UK. He had to go. Very quick response by Trump, who was silent about it.

  6. This change has nothing to do with the UK or Russian use of nerve gas. As if he would condone that. I've heard a lot of rubbish but this tops it.

  7. President Putin said Tillerson had to go, and.... he's GONE!

  8. If by "he" you mean Trump, it is notable how little he has commented or condemned the attack.

  9. ... and America STILL won't do anything. How long until Mueller gets fired?

    Our country won't fight to preserve it's system. and now it's crumbling.

  10. Not so fast with the doom and gloom. The outcome in today's PA congressional race may prove that we are in fact, a resilient nation.

  11. I hope you're right, Phillip, but expecting a district that Trump won by 20% to lead us back to national sanity is asking for disappointment. Those voters had a chance to save America from this disaster in 2016 but chose demagoguery instead. Trump's rally the other night shows they're still lapping up the "ignorant belligerence" he's serving them. If America is saved from this craziness it will be by the young people and minorities in the cities and the educated middle-class in the suburbs surrounding them.

  12. Another sabotage job by Donald Trump. Like Caligula, Trump enjoys pitting his inner circle against one another. It’s another day at the Coliseum. It’s puzzling how we can look back in history and recognize the clear mental illness of Caligula, yet somehow this current president, who displays equally ill faculties, still gets the benefit of the doubt of being sane.

    After a 41-year career Mr. Tillerson stepped down as ExxonMobil CEO to head the State Dept. He lasted what, a year? I wonder now, if he has any regrets.

  13. "...somehow this current president, who displays equally ill faculties, still gets the benefit of the doubt of being sane."

    Not from me.

  14. He's got more money than Jesus, helped destroy the planet at the helm of an oil monster, and decimated the State Department, who cares how he feels?

  15. No regrets. He got to cash in all of his stock options, tax free, in exchange for a few months of insanity. He also has not had to face any repercussions from a steady decline in XOM stock prices. He may have suffered a little blow to his self image as a master of the universe, but I am quite sure he'll recover. He made the moron fire him, to boot.

  16. Tillerson was an honorable man, albeit a terrible secretary of state. Pompeo has good credentials, but may be another sycophant.

  17. Pompeo will want to invade Iran asap.

  18. Another one bites the dust. Who in their right mind would ever want to work for Donald Trump? This is just another example of the turmoil that is going on within the walls of the White House.

  19. no sooner does Tillerson, from CapeVerde, make adult diplomat comments about Russian and the Surrey assassination attempt than BAM, clashing with Trump's Russia myopia, he's out.

  20. Not myopia. Collusion.

  21. I'm waiting for Tillerson's book. Probably will read like another "Fire and Fury."

  22. Perhaps he'll call it "Fired and furious."

  23. stu freeman - One of your best.

  24. I was going to say this administration continues to be like a slow-motion car crash, but really, it's not in slow motion.

    Tillerson was a terrible choice to begin with, but no one who's left so far (some three dozen, right?) has been replaced by much of an improvement.

    The only way this could have worked out with some net gain is if Trump had appointed a sitting Republican Senator whose seat could have gone blue this fall.

    Of course, the President-for-life (ha!) is helping make that happen anyway.

  25. My first reaction, which is a pretty sad indictment of the state of Trump's administration, is "Who is going to be fired in next week's episode of 'White House Apprentice'. Kudos to Tillerson for making it so many rounds. Next week's challenge for the contestants: Come up with a marketing strategy for who to blame when a meeting with North Korea goes off the rails.

  26. Every week that Tillerson served was a diplomatic charade and a serious blow to our integrity as a nation.

  27. We're seeing now that Trump's first round of appointments were in fact the very best Trump people. Now we'll get to see what the second- and third-stringers are like.

  28. I have just one question for Mike Pompeo? Are you going to stand up to the president on all things Russian? Or are you going to be honorary chairman of the now closed Nunes toady report that finds nothing wrong with Donald Trump's continued "mysterious" silence on whatever Putin does, including poisonings in the UK?

    Here's a man who graduated first in his class at West Point. I want to see how he handles Trump and how long he lasts with what is increasingly looking like a Manchurian president.

  29. Actually, he's more like the Siberian Candidate.

  30. "I have just one question for Mike Pompeo?"

    Good question! But if you look at Pompeo's career after West Point -- as a politician, an utterly partisan actors, and a charter-member of the hard-core Right -- I think, sadly, the answer to your question is clear!

  31. Don't hold your breath. Trump has stated clearly that he wants new advisors who see things the way he sees them. Pompeo will soon be singing from the Trump hymnal.

  32. One hopes that positions like Secretary of State as well as those who report to the top person are filled by bright, well-read, well-informed individuals with an understanding of international relations, diplomacy and, hopefully, something about most of the countries in the world. Even better would be to have specialists reporting to the top, individuals whose knowledge of the language, culture, history and politics of one country plus of those countries around the one country can help the individual make an objective policy recommendation to the top person. One can only hope.

  33. Exactly what Donald J. Trump despises. To be on Trump's A Team, you must be devoid of any decency, have no knowledge of geopolitics or economics, be foul mouthed and act like a high school bully on methamphetamine, be allergic to reading, facts and the truth. Tillerson could never sink that low on the evolutionary scale to see eye to eye with Trump. He was serving a grown man who fired him long distance on TWITter. You can't get more yellow bellied than that.

  34. Hope? -:) -:) -:) -:)

  35. Before that, one can only hope that the "top person" has the sense and decency to not to summarily fire a person who heads the entire US diplomatic corps around the world. The Top Person has set US diplomatic efforts, morale and standing back by years if not decades,

  36. Tillerson had been among the best regarded cabinet members? By Putin perhaps?

  37. I don't know if this is a good or bad move, yet. With all the open positions in the State Department, one hopes there will be focus on utilizing the budget that has been stalemated under Rex's leadership and bring back some of the many lifers that had left that were crucial to the department.

  38. I was extremely dubious about Tillerson at first (as I am with any Trump appointee). I was wrong. Tillerson proved to be his own man. He is smart, capable and determined. In Trumps universe that's strike one, two and three.

  39. There was a time when most experts agreed that the world was flat. Experts advised Bush and Clinton and Obama to trust North Korea- Nixon was surrounded by experts who gave him some very bad advice. There is nothing magical or sacred about an "expert". Most of the worst experts I have met (I am 80- years old) were college professors. It is more important to have good morals and to hav e good ideas, than to be an expert in bad ideas. Chamberlain was an expert diplomat in appeasement .Our system of government is based upon the idea that the people will elect the person whose ideas they want to see implemented That person is an "expert" in what the people want. His name-is TRUMP-

  40. Tillerson destroyed the state department. Just because he disagreed with Trump doesn't make him a good secretary of state.

  41. Tillerson was certainly his own guy.

    Dealing with Trump makes dealing with an oil spill look easy.

  42. One too many comments criticizing Russia I presume. Stating the obvious; that Russia was responsible for the use of nerve gas in Great Britain was apparently the last straw for the Great Leader.

    Do anything, but never be critical of Putin or Russia. How far we have fallen.

  43. The Republicans who just announced there was "no collusion" between Trump and Putin are in part to blame: they have given Trump the green light to do whatever his mentor tells him to do.

  44. We have fallen very far; however, it's not that you fall that's so bad, it's when you don't get back up again, and we're really running late on that one.

  45. I remember how Trump's has put it so simply and childishly. "Putin likes Trump," he has said, so "Trump likes Putin."

    Clearly, Tillerson had many failings. But the president has done so much worse. The Secretary of State seemed almost absent at critical times from his post, while our ultimate representative to the world has done so much to actively blacken our ideals and international standing. Nothing has been more destructive than his expressions of approval at the likes of rulers Xi, Duterte and el-Sisi. Trump has expressed approval of authoritarianism, oppression and even state-sponsored murders, like a little boy clapping in glee on Christmas morning. He even publicly likened how Putin has assassinated personal enemies to murders committed by the U.S.

    When Trump does disapprove of regimes such as in Syria, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, he speaks of them in almost cartoonish terms, seemingly unable to even reach for the right words. I get the sense that he'd relent with some of them, if only they'd "like Trump," the way that "Putin likes Trump."

  46. Short and miserable was Tillerson post as Trump’s lackey; certainly a frontrunner for the worst Secretary of State ever.

  47. That's the template for this administration: (fill in the blank) should go down as the most ineffective (fill in the blank) in history. Including (especially) the president.

  48. To Larry,
    I wish “ineffective” was the proper evocative adjective for Trump’s presidency – I fear “Enlightenment-Ending” will turn out to be more adequate.

  49. You can't make this stuff up. Tillerson a short time ago stated there should be talks with North Korea, and was targeted by Trump for that idea. Now Trump is trumpeting (no pun intended) talks with North Korea and dumping Tillerson. Is it surprising no country which counts in the world trusts America anymore?
    Given there is evidence Putin blackballed Romney as a choice for Secretary of State why not dump the "regulation" known as the Constitution and simply let Putin confirm Pompeo as the new Secretary of State?

  50. Constantly rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Too bad we’re all below deck.

  51. In steerage.

  52. The revolving door that is the Trump administration is very disconcerting.

  53. trump misses his TV show "The Apprentice." Wish we could fire him for real.

  54. He was a lame duck anyway. 45 continues his revolving door policy. But who will have the ability to sit in front of Kim Jong-un in May?

  55. Well done Rex. Now you can go back to polluting the earth.

  56. if you're in PA 18th & were on the fence about voting today.....

  57. From Reuters about the Britain finding Russia responsible for use of nerve agent on the Russian spy: "President Donald Trump has not yet publicly commented on the attack.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States had full confidence in the assessment that Russia was responsible"

    Is this the immediate cause? Trump's Russian overlords to whom he is beholden gave him directions to oust Tillerson?

  58. The timing says it all. Criticize Trumps pal Putin and you’re out. Shows where his true allegiance is.

  59. “All the best people.”

  60. This is all about timing!

  61. I got BINGO!

  62. Sorry, I already called bingo!

  63. Anyone who works for Trump winds up cast off, blamed and diminished. Fair warning -- quit while you still have a shred of self respect.

  64. Here we go again. Is John Kelly next?

  65. No, Sessions, then Kelly. If the race in PA goes to Lamb, the letter two may come quickly. And is Mueller adds some indictments, it's Katy bar the door!

  66. More of the same from Trump. What an ugly mess this administration is.

  67. What a circus!

  68. Worst president every. Tillerson was one of the last people in the administration who had a brain. Why do republicans hate our country so much?

  69. Tillerson criticizes Russia for poisoning ex-spy on British soil; next day Trump fires him, hmm?

  70. No, this job change has been in the pipeline (get it? pipeline? Rex and Exxon?) for months.

  71. Tillerson's replacement, Mike Pompeo, is no friend of Russia. Now that Trump has been cleared by the House Intelligence committee of collusion with Russia, Dems are looking for a new angle to connect Trump with Russia. This is not it.

  72. thank you

  73. This is all part of draining the swamp, right??

  74. The "draining the swamp" irony/sarcasm has become a tiresome cliché, meaning nothing. Have anything new to add?

  75. well, alas, there is a lot that's going down the drain. Maybe it's rather swamping the drain now ;)

  76. This comes just hours after Tillerson issued a strong statement condemning Russia for their chemical weapon attack in the United Kingdom, and throwing our full support by one of our greatest allies (and my home country). Given Huckabee-Sanders' clear attempts to go out of her way not to mention Russia in any way related to the attack during yesterday's WHPB, it's not hard to draw a connection between the two. That the President would fire the Secretary of State for standing with one of our oldest and closest allies against a Russian attack on its soil belies belief. Any sort of trust in the United States from our allies has been utterly thrown out the window, and the repercussions will be long lasting and far reaching.

  77. I truly think that once we have a qualified and dignified president back in office our allies will view this period in history as an anomaly. It is. We will return to greatness with a litlle more humility, I'm thinking, once we rid ourselves of the elected impediments to the democratic process. The current gaggle of traitorous republicans will be removed over a couple of cycles of elections and we will take ou country back. Our allies will be cheering from the sidelines.

    Two things matter: 1) VOTE in November. 2) see number one

  78. So what else is new in Trumpland?

  79. Giving Russia the chance to test their new super missile, or starting a war with North Korea.

  80. Trump is desperately trying to get the US into another war, with a person like Pompeo in what is suppose to be our highest diplomatic role, Trump has the perfect guy to supply the gasoline for the fire.

  81. This administration operates like a hybrid of Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Bachelor. You asked for it Trumpsters. You wanted someone who would shake things up. Trump shook it alright. He broke the place. Another round of musical chairs. What a joke. Trump has destroyed the Presidency and turned it into a clown show.

  82. The rallies look like a Jerry Springer show or the crowds at professional wrestling. Our allies must think they are staged.

  83. And I've been thinking it's like The Producers, Being There and Network, but maybe that was just the campaign.

  84. Bruce,

    The Trumpskies love it. When the economy crashes in a couple of years, and they are all up the creek, they'll blame it on Hillary's emails — their strong man (#2 -- they worshipped W, remember) can do no wrong. If he says Tillerson is a Chinese spy, his "base" believes it.

  85. Mr. Tillerson obviously didn't know much. Certainly not about State or diplomacy or running an organization in which he did not have the tyrannical power of chief executive.

    But he certainly knew who D. Trump is, and still he produced a string of fawning statements praising Trump's wisdom and ability.

    So, we have another shining Trump light extinguished on Twitter, and sent packing with his reputation and, one hopes, his future prospects in ruins.

  86. Lot's of reasons why one doesn't usually put the head of CIA in charge or State. Their probably haven't been any since the height of the cold war (Rusk and Dulles). In modern times the State Department is more focused on building bridges, assisting development and encouraging positive relationships around the world. A foreign leader hardly wants to sit across from the person who may have been sleeping with your enemy to undermine that country just a few months before. Trump, of course, gets none of this...

  87. The first scenario that comes to mind is the advice Rex Tillerson may be imparting to Mike Pompeo – “Don’t bother unpacking your suitcases; you won’t be around that long.”

    But in all seriousness, I would think a wiser leader would want to retain the “established team in place” with someone who knows the political landscape such as Mr. Tillerson with the upcoming talks with North Korea’s leader in a few months as well as various ongoing trade negotiations. Sometimes that old adage, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't know" has some merit.

  88. There is an episode of Seinfeld where the police show up at Newman's door, to whom he says "What took you so long?" I'm wondering if Mr. Tillerson had a similar response to POTUS 45.

  89. Rex Tillerson never quite hit it off with the Moron-In-Chief.

    But we should give Rex Tillerson proper credit for turning out the lights in the State Department.

    Who needs international diplomatic staff and people on the ground when Twitter, Twidiocy and Twaddle fill the gap so well ?

    There's no better way to fix a sinking ship than to rearrange the deck chairs.

  90. Socrates . . . I look forward to your comments and word smithing EVERY day! Thank you.

  91. Mismanagement? I thought he was just carrying out the Koch Manifesto.

  92. As a senior, the departure of the Secretary of State for this country, especially under these circumstances, would have for decades been shocking.

    How sad that Rex Tillerson, expressing his opinion about Russia and its influence on the stability of the United States, is probably the very reason he will be gone.

    We are in for a Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who will serve as a Trump puppet. He will not serve the people, he will serve Donald Trump’s kingdom, formerly know as the United States of America. Just where Trump wants him.

    Getting old with this administration has been extremely depressing. Our poor future generations.

  93. What future generations would those be?

    Last time I checked, nuclear fallout was incompatible with human life.

  94. Only consolation: he has to be confirmed by the Senate. Maybe a few Republicans will bolt?

  95. More concerning, will Mr. Pompeo be more amenable to any 45 military actions vs. North Korea that will “justify” perpetuatating his wartime occupancy in the WH or implementation of further kleptocratic authoritarianism in the U.S.?

  96. Not mentioned in article:
    Tillerson was fired/replaced less than 24 hours after he strongly backed up the UK and Theresa May when she announced that Russia needed to respond immediately - else there'd be consequences - to the poisoning of a Brit citizen and former spy (and his daughter) in the UK. May said there was strong evidence that Russia was behind the poison attack, and Tillerson backed her up firmly in a statement.

    N.Korea angle is interesting. But the real story here is that Trump fired Tillerson in order to protect Russia and Putin. Fact.

  97. Our President is a Russian Stooge. No doubt about it.

  98. You better believe this is the real story.

    So the GOP-"led" investigatory committee -- in the very week where multiple new stories break-- announces there's "no there, there" and quits (having never really started) declaring there is no proof of collusion with Russia even as hours before multiple intel agencies declare there is abundant evidence of collusion with Russia. Hours later, Tillerson, who had the decency to stand with an ally, is out for... condemning Russia. He's replaced by a war hawk and that hawk's replacement is a woman who engaged in illegal torture. I mean...what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

    Not coincidentally, we have this on Pomepeo:"Trump’s CIA director is distorting intelligence to help his boss:The CIA needs a director to defend it. It got a Trump crony instead."--

    We call this the one-two-three punch. Unfortunately, what's being knocked out of the ring is our democracy.

  99. "But the real story here is that Trump fired Tillerson in order to protect Russia and Putin. Fact."

    Not a fact, just your opinion. A fact can be objectively proven.

  100. I never thought much of Tillerson as SOS, especially because of his corporate urging and his friendly ties to Russia. However, he was at least an adult with some managerial skills. His biggest failure was not advocating effectively for the State Department, which has seen budget cuts and an exodus of experienced personnel. As an engineer, Tillerson understood that diplomacy was a far more rational method of foreign policy than reliance on military might.
    As Churchill may have said, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war."

    The SOS designee appears to be too much of a party apparatchik.

  101. As articulated by Hamilton, one reason the Electoral College was created was so "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."

    Hamilton was not prescient enough.

  102. The election system changed since Hamilton wrote that, with electors pledged to candidates rathar than acting as independent deciders. Hamilton’s original system would’ve stopped Trump, but is too elitist for today.

  103. But HL Mencken was:

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    Thanks again, low-info crowd.

  104. The electors failed to do the right thing.

  105. Poor old Rex was probably just a bit too educated and principled for Mr Trump; his sanity with respect to international relations had no place in the Trump administration.

  106. Excellent appointment at CIA - first woman to lead the agency.

  107. Yes, a woman.

    And a criminal to boot.

    Progress everywhere in Trumpville.

  108. Excellent just because she's a woman? She also ran a secret prison in Thailand that tortured prisoners with means that had been designated as illegal by Congress.

    But, yeah, excellent appointment.

  109. It is no coincidence that Rex Tillerson spoke out yesterday against Russia poisoning the spy in the UK, then was quickly fired by Trump. The one line you can't cross with Trump is going against Russia. Putin has a hold over Trump which makes this a very dangerous time for this country.

  110. If Trump thinks Pompeo will effectively steer America through denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, Americans have another thing coming to them.

    These people brought nothing but antipathy to their analysis of the nuclear deal with Iran, and they will apply the hubris of having won an election, albeit clouded with foreign interference and disregarding the popular will, to their position. Through Tillerson, they have already diminished the arm of the administration responsible for laying the groundwork for a successful negotiation.

    Pitiful what these people are bringing to public service.

  111. The Trump cabinet members are NOT in public service; it is all about private gain. Tillerson and Cohn stayed long enough to avoid taxes on their personal gains. All have personal venal aims, and care not a whit about America at-large. Supporters of Trump are driven by animus, venality, and stupidity (or any combination thereof). The good ship USA has already sailed.

  112. They bring, as you say, nothing but antipathy - and they go expecting war, not peace.

  113. It's no coincidence that Tillerson departs the Whitehouse less than two weeks after Exxon finally gave up and withdrew from the Russia Exxon deal - a multi-billion dollar deal that fell through when Sec of State Tillerson couldn't get the sanctions on Russia lifted. He was only in that White House position to further the interests of Exxon. He forced the opening of the pristine Alaska Wildlife Refuge for drilling. But he couldn't get the Russia deal completed. So why stay? Oily Tillerson had played his cards and wanted out.

  114. You seem to think Tillerson wanted to go. By all accounts that is simply not the case, and he was quite ready & willing to put up with Trump’s circus to continue the work.
    It is very telling, however, that within 24 hours of Tillerson making a statement in support of our staunchest allies in the U.K. and condemning Putin, he is shown the door. The Russians were definitely involved, just not in the way you imagine.

  115. That was not distant thunder, that was Tillerson’s sigh of relief.

  116. It is very hard not to think that Tillerson has been fired for stating that Russia was responsible for the use of nerve gas in Great Britain. Iit is very difficult not to think that Russia has some intelligence on the US president that, if published, would harm him. And it is very difficult to think that such intelligence is not about sex and business. It's all speculation. As time passes, the speculations get more and more plausible.

  117. I agree. The timing has made this the main focus in several European and British media.

    Strange that this aspect it isn't named in the article.

  118. That's what Tillerson gets for valuing diplomacy over military action.

  119. Trump has always bragged about his ability to choose "the best" people. And yet those he's selected have been dropping like flies from day one. Either he can't stand them or vice versa. Probably both. And the appointees who do remain are the worst of the bunch. He's like a sieve in which only the dregs remain.

  120. Whatever has has said or says the opposite is always true.
    But people still don't get that. The irreversible death spiral of US continues

  121. Define the word "best" as it relates to the boy in the big house?

    Pound to a penny that your and his definition will be poles apart. At least for today, as the boy changes his mind quicker than ordering a hamburger.

  122. From bad to worse.

    If there's one small ray of sunshine, it's that at least now the CIA will have better leadership.

  123. "Better leadership" at the CIA? The woman apparently ran a prison in Thailand at which terrorist suspects were waterboarded. She fits right in to Trump's parade of horribles.

  124. And what of the so-called Tillerson, Mattis, and Mnuchin "suicide pact," whereby if President Trump forced one of them out, the other two would resign? That such an agreement was apparently contemplated by the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury should have been a wake up call to the public and the member of the congressional GOP. If this agreement was in fact made, it was based on the recognition, by those closest to him, that Donald Trump was not to be trusted with the powers of the presidency, absent the constraints of the presence of their adult supervision.

    And why should the Mattis, Mnuchin, or the public have any faith in Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State? For the past year, Mr. Pompeo has led the CIA, which long ago concluded that Russia directly interfered in the 2016 to benefit Mr. Trump. Moreover, they have repeatedly warned that Russia will attempt to interfere with the 2018 elections. Yet, Mr. Pompeo has not be able to get Mr. Trump to acknowledge this reality or to take a forceful response. So why should any believe that Mr. Pompeo will be any more effective as the President navigates a meeting with Kim Jong-un or any other foreign policy challenge?

  125. The notion of Mnuchin being loyal to anything other than money is actually amusing!

  126. If there is an iron rule of management--this kind of turn over, both at the top, the middle and the bottom of your organization---signifies an organization in big trouble. The key to successful organizations is focus and execution, both are missing in organizations where goals change every two or three months and where those charged with implementation are either not in place or fear for their place.

  127. Fabricating an "iron rule" that, first, hardly meets any contextual basis here and, second, shreds the objective notion that focus and execution are vastly improved by refining both, not sticking with blurred vision or stuck-in-the-mud policies of disloyal staff. Hating our President has devolved you into both of the latter fallacious stances.

  128. A low turnover number is quality.

  129. I once worked for a company that had major top-level organization changes 2-3 times a year. Goals and policies kept changing, depending on who was in charge, which made it nearly impossible to achieve anything substantial. The CEO was an engineer with a vision, but no management skills, and didn't tolerate differing opinions well. People stayed because they paid well, but the company ultimately failed due to his short-term focus.

  130. Exxon withdraws from deal with Rosneft to drill in the Russian Arctic, so no need for Rex anymore.

  131. Tillerson should simply have said NO when first nominated. He's a businessman, not a diplomat. His international relationships were based on $$ decisions, not the good of the country. And he was a terrible influence at State, cutting budgets to the bone and causing an exodus of talented diplomats. I doubt Pompeo will do any better. He wasn't a savior for Kansas when he was a Congressman and I cannot imagine him doing any better in the State Dept.

  132. Of great significance is the manner in which he was fired. In Flynn's case, the task was delegated. Comey was fired by hand-delivered letter. Tillerson by tweet.

    There are two possibilities (perhaps more). One, trump is unwilling (or more likely unable)! to explain and then debate the reasons. Second, Trump doesn't do personal confrontation. I'll go for a touch of the fomer and a huge dollop of the latter. There's a whiff of cowardice about the four-times Vietnam draft dodger. It's truly amazing that his base seems blissfully unaware of this streak.

    Never mind, the work of the decorated Vietnam volunteer Mueller will soon be completed and America will be able to rediscover both its soul and its purpose.

  133. I live in Illinois where we have another businessman in charge, Bruce Rauner. Everybody wants to get rid of him, even his own party. Businessmen are an odd lot to put in charge of government as the people are finding out.

  134. So is Trump. But as you see businessman have been making a mess of this government since this administration took office!

  135. Another talented person used up and thrown away.
    That's what it's like to work for Donald Trump.
    Any one else want to try ?

  136. By all accounts, Tillerson was a train-wreck of a Secretary of State, showing no capacity to organize his people or focus his institution, develop leadership within the organization, promote healthy morale, etc.

    Indeed, if this last year is an accurate reflection of his previous work in the private sector, one wonders what damage he did to the corporations he led.

  137. "No chaos."

    Picking Pompeo just adds to it, because now who will replace Pompeo? (Not to mention, what are his qualifications??) Sounds like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic to me.

    And Tillerson hopefully has learned that when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

  138. Chaos? What chaos?

  139. Exactly, what chaos?

  140. This was inevitable. Tillerson was becoming too much of a liability, largely because he was making statements that went against the "Trump line of lies" that recognized the truth for what it is. Sad . . . any front-line job for Trump has a clicking time bomb on it and sooner or later it goes off. Pompeo now stands next to that bomb and someday he will pay the price too. With Trump, no one is safe or immune except family.

  141. Lets hope this is not the first step in what eventually becomes a rain of nuclear bombs, as two hot-heads, both demanding deference, meet in a rushed and unprepared for summit to discuss an intractable issue. Adding Mike Pompeo to this mix in such a short time frame only adds to the volatility.

  142. Exasperating and confused, if not fearful of the future, describes the erratic pulse of the American scene all caused by the President of the United States. When will the fabric of our society just tear to shreds?

  143. Trump announces high level Cabinet changes on Twitter. Between his unedited rants and raves.

    The US is in chaos, and everyday we move to a new acceptance of normal.

    Where are our elected leaders, from both sides of the aisle, that are supposed to be protecting us from the clear and present danger that is in the White House?


  145. Maybe you should call your closest elected Republican representatives and demand some answers!

  146. You hear from the left but the right is quiet and that is an ubderstatment.

  147. In the end, Trumpster will be alone, leaving a long trail of good but fired people and a huge debris field others will have to clean up. No different than reality tv.

  148. PLEASE, his picks have not been “good”.

  149. Good?

  150. SM. a recalibration is called for here. “Good” = “not as bad as Trump”.

  151. Hard to believe somebody as unprofessional (not returning phone calls, never being prepared, refusing to interact with anybody, etc.) as Rex Tillerson could rise to CEO of Exxon, much less Secretary of State.

  152. Look at what is sitting in the Oval Office.

  153. I am relieved for Tillerson, who now can escape the burden of Trump and return to a productive, mature, intelligent work environment (with some well-earned time off)... or simply retire and do some interesting, sane things. Pompeo is a real wild card: yes, currently loyal to Trump but very capable of deciding his own game and playing it. He is also much smarter than Trump and both understands the resources available to him and how to use them. This is a big wait and see... with not-so-obvious outcomes of every possible extreme.

  154. One can't help but think that Tillerson's extensive experience and friendship with Russia got him the job. Now it seems that Exxon's pulling out of Russia and Tillerson's negative comments have cost him the job he probably never really wanted.

    What little tact and diplomacy existed, is now gone.

  155. Tillerson was a really terrible "leader" of the State Dept., and too cozy with Putin iin terms of his background, but he seemed to try to defuse conflict and there is no evidence that we know of that he is actually a traitor, unlike his boss on both counts. We might find that we miss him. Like all others, he comes away from his association with Trump very diminished and undoubtedly sorry that he ever got involved.

  156. Did Sec. Tillerson share what he has on Trump with Mr. Muller?
    He will now.
    Being fired by Trump for speaking the truth and cooperating with Mr. Muller is the only way anyone in this administration can prove their patriotism and avoid jail time.

  157. Ironically, Tillerson disproved the myth that CEOs are good government leaders almost as much as Trump has.

  158. The next time a foreign government is meeting with the US Secretary of State in their own country, they have to wonder if he will still have his position when he gets back.

    Same goes for FBI Director...should he travel outside of DC, he may be replaced before his return.

  159. Disarray as always. Let’s see how much of a rubber stamp the Senate proves to be. Pompeo is no more qualified with being Secretary of State as he was CIA Director. And putting an ethically flawed individual (which means susceptible to blackmail) as head of the CIA, whether career or not, does not seem like a good move with Russia actively undermining our democracy.

  160. Once again. No surprise here. While Mr. Tillerson made the cardinal error of not saying "Yes", fast and consistently enough to all of Donald Trump's mandates -- he really crossed the bridge by publicly pointing the finger of blame at Russia in the recent poisonings of an ex-spy and his daughter in London.
    At this point, one must wonder what future plans Robert Mueller might have for him -- and if that's the case, Tillerson's timing couldn't have been better for making a lucky escape.

  161. Now, at long last, Mr. Tillerson can take his $50 million and enjoy his retirement. Be seeing you soon at the local coffee shop, Rex!

  162. Par for the course, the Golfer-in-Chief chickened out and didn't fire Rex himself.

    In fact, Tillerson was not even told why he was being dismissed.

    And sadly, as bad as Trump is at firing people, it doesn't hold a candle to his lousiness at hiring.

  163. Today Tillerson broke what appears to be a cardinal rule of the Trump White House. He dared to agree with the UK that Putin was responsible for the poisoning of the Russian ex-pats in the UK. Criticism of Putin by the US Government is verboten. Whatever they are holding over Trump's head has him paralyzed. It has to be about money, the one thing Trump appears to worship more than himself.
    The sword of Putin hangs over Trumps' head held by a single damaged, palsied strand of ersatz orange hair. The most powerful country on the globe has been neutered.

  164. Mr. Tillerson was, at best, an undistinguished secretary of state. Sadly, in the Trump maladministration, that made him a star.

  165. There shalt not be any "voice of reason" within the Trump administration or cabinet. Another one bites the dust.

  166. Democratic Senators should refuse to confirm anyone for Secretary of State and CIA chief until after the next election. The voice of the people must be heard.
    When the GOP brings the issue to the Supreme Court let Gorsuch explain it to them.

  167. Excellent idea

  168. Hello? Are you aware of the fact that the Republicans have the majority of votes in both houses of Congress and all Republicans appear to be gutless wonders in the face of Trump’s “stable genius?”

  169. well played

  170. Republicans have long believed that businessmen make good public officials. History has shown them to be wrong in this assumption, unless, of course, your definition of a good public official is one who loyally serves the interests of business while ignoring the larger national interests. Tillerson obviously had little interest in diplomacy and demonstrated no talent or interest in administering the Department of State. In many ways, he was a reflection of the man who appointed him. This administration continues to degrade our country in the eyes of the world and its continual missteps delight our advesaries. It is really intolerable.

  171. Republicans who espouse that idea doesn't understand the United States is not a business, it is an ideal, it is trust, it is a morality. In business there are winners and losers, profit and loss. if you run your country like that, guess who the losers are? American businesses have cut deals with mobsters, dictators, drug lords and arms dealers all in the name of profit (as we can see with the Trump organization and EXXON). How on earth can any representative of the United States demand other countries to follow "American Values" when we've flushed that down a golden toilet.

  172. "Continues to degrade our country"?

    How 'bout we rephrase that... Trump -- and a ton of his appointments and supporters -- continue to degrade our SPECIES. At the upper end, the Republican "party" represents organized theft, misogyny, hatred, a giant share of just plain crazy, and a litany of other negative human characteristics (notice that since his "election", it has become a pastime of the intelligent and decent to create lists of negative adjectives to more precisely define his activities); at its base, the "party" epitomizes "stupid", with more than a dash of "nasty" to make it harder to swallow.

    In a paraphrase of our civilization's greatest playwright, "will no one rid us of this meddlesome putz?"

  173. Donald Trump must be the center of attention. At all times. Tillerson was hardly a standout Secretary of State, and he did sometimes toady up to Trump, but when he actually did his job Trump would instantly undermine him to insert himself into the spotlight. Tillerson highlights the impossibility of being an effective member of Trump's White House. Being recognized for any positive outcome is an insult to the desperately insecure boss.

  174. This has been a long time coming for Tillerson, so who can say they’re surprised? Another one escapes the asylum and takes a big sigh of relief.

    Having never heard of Haspel, I did a quick search and found that she has been involved in counterterrorism “black site “ efforts, including waterboarding and other unauthorized interrogation methods, as well as in the alleged destruction of videos made at a black site in Thailand. As a result, she was passed over for other CIA positions. Now, she may become CIA director.

    So the question is, what are Trump’s motives here? Promoting someone who advocates illegal interrogation tactics, which signals something in its own right, or promoting someone to show that he “respects” women, in light of his latest pecadilloes? I shouldn’t have to ask, but I do wonder.

    This particular nomination calls for the most stringent vetting process possible.

    I’m tired of Trump’s constant game of musical chairs that can have a direct effect on our national security and standing in the world. It’s clear he has either no concept of the gravity of his actions, or he just doesn’t care.

  175. We're doing a fine job of bringing our country down. We have a Russian agent in the White House and any terrorists out there can sleep in their own beds, hang out with their family and friends and watch on TV the US be destroyed by the incompetence of its leadership.

  176. Well, Trump has said that he likes torture while interrogating.

  177. MDB, in answer to your question about his motives, it's clear that he wants to play military in all forms, the dirtier the better it seems. So, he'll pick his characters based on their method of play. Poor child.....

  178. Mr. Tillerson is a class act, the fault lies with the novice President, not fully understanding the compatibility of his appointments before they assumed the posts.

  179. Well, what would you expect from Trump? He's completely unqualified by education, experience and temperament to be the president.

  180. Yes, Tillerson is an engineer. If there ever was a bad fit with Trump's irrational, sociopathic mind set, this is it. Not Rex's fault.

  181. It's always the "other one" who needs to be blamed. Replaced.In a government energized by personal unaccountability.Not just by Trump, as a person. As the policy maker. As the president.As the Big tweeter, legitimizing his daily violating behaviors with mantraed alt-facts, subsumed under alt-national security concerns, is enabled. By our complacency. In an anchored, toxic, WE-THEY culture which violates constructed and selected "the others." Who is IN, and who is OUT has become a laughterless-farce. Enabled by US. Daily documentation for archives. Not for creating needed, sustainable changes to minimize infectious divisiveness.Enabled by US, even as Trump, and his minions seed and harvest the results of their words and deeds. "Rex Tillerson Out." What about each of us? Are we in or out?

  182. S. Einstein: I would mostly agree with you except to note that the adult entertainment performer Stormy Daniels has said Mr. Trump has a rather small tweeter.

  183. Although it is infuriating to see this revolving door White House, "Rexit" is not a great loss for America or the world. Hopefully Pompeo will be allowed to help rebuild DOS during his short tenure. Expectations are low at this point. I'd rather have a CIA man on the North Korean diplomacy than a gruff Texas oilman.

  184. Pompey may have been a CIA man but he's been chosen because he's a yes-man.

  185. Yikes! Are we down to those two choices? We in big trouble, boss!

  186. I'd rather have any DIPLOMAT other than Trump.

  187. Oh, look, another member of the military and intelligence establishment being placed in the top levels of the government. Color me shocked.

  188. All hail the business person who can run the country because they can run a corporation. It's like saying because you're a successful novelist of medial thrillers you can therefore perform brain surgery. Trump has loaded the government (where he bothered to fill positions) with human examples of false equivalencies.

  189. Or, say, if you are a brain surgeon you could lead HUD.

  190. T Rex is extinct! Pomp is in, in the circumstance. So are bad puns and continued bad management

  191. Tillerson's error was to blame Russia for the nerve agent attack in the U.K. last week. He went on to promise that actions would be taken against Russia. Pompeo has done nothing at CIA to stop Russian meddling in U.S. elections and now he will do nothing against Russia at State.

    Trump is so afraid of Putin that he won't even keep a cabinet secretary who criticizes Russia.

  192. What do the Russians know that can destroy DT?
    We may never know.

  193. Rex Tillerson was just one of a group of Trump's Cabinet appointments who was unqualified for his position and sought to dismantle the 'administrative state'.
    He was in fact a corporate CEO who was a traditional Republican. What is good for Exxon, aka American's 1%, is good for the world.
    One positive for Tillerson was that he was not a zero sum sycophant. Mike Pompeo is a full on Trump toadie who will reflect Trump's Win-Lose foreign policy to America's detriment. The zero sum game approach of Trump and Pompeo will not value diplomacy and nuance and compromise. Our 'friends' in the world move farther away every day.

  194. Do we have any friends left by now?

  195. For a stable genius and great businessman, Trump sure doesn't know how to pick good staff.

  196. This is Tillerson's punishment for agreeing yesterday with our British ally that Russia is responsible for poisoning a defector-spy and his daughter with a nerve agent in a public park. Trump has been silent about this crime, and didn't like his Secretary of State publicly shaming his good friend Putin.

  197. The washington post says tillerson was told on friday.....

  198. As Claude Rains would say: "I'm shocked -- shocked -- to hear that someone who had no business being appointed Secretary of State in the first place will most likely go down as the worst Secretary of State in history!"

  199. I'm shocked--shocked--that people won't give the "Casablanca" reference a rest. It was amusing the first thousand times, but is long past getting stale.

  200. Yes. Right there beside the president who had no business of being elected in the first place who will most likely go down as the worst president in history.

    Just remember, for the change of 80,000 votes in three states and things would have been different.

  201. Well, we still need to see how well an Oklahoma ex-congressman with negligible foreign policy background does in the job (assuming the supine Republicans in the Senate confirm Mr Pompeo.)

  202. In using Twitter to make announcements this pivotal, Trump displays his hatred for the news media, contempt for Administration personnel and mania for controlling the message. Twitter : Trump = Might : Right.

  203. Finally, the man who has single handedly depleted the human talent in the state department is leaving the building for good.

    It has been a long time coming. The state department has been gravely underused for the past year. However, one must remain cautious. Tillerson was at best a moderate incompetent, at worst an naive amateur. It is unclear what direction or style that Pompeo would bring.

    More importantly, will he be more successful at convincing and influencing the president in critical issues of foreign affairs? Tillerson was unable to do his job as the president constantly took stances that were contrary to his.

    It is difficult to b overly optimistic about this latest cabinet shift, given that at the end of the day the foreign policy is still ultimately driven by the Oval Office.

  204. Tillerson was unable to do his job because he wasn't qualified to be Secretary of State. We need to get over this notion that businessmen and actors can run the country or high-level government agencies / departments. Trump will always be Exhibit A (or the gold standard) for this argument.

  205. Oh, I _WISH_ our foreign policy was driven by the Oval Office. A room full of furniture would do better than Trump.

  206. Pompeo is another Trump, He's a pompous self grandizer.

  207. Every day a new "story" meaning nothing, since the Trump enablers are interchangeable.

    The phony distractions won't work.

  208. As long as there's a windshield between us and the bugs.

  209. Within an hour after news broke of Tillerson's sharp criticism of Putin for murdering a former Russian agent in London, Trump announced the firing of Tillerson. The firing was in the works, but this doesn't look like a coincidence.

  210. Yeah, but the coincidence might have been that Tillerson knew he was getting sacked, and then decided to go off-message.

  211. And Tillerson's message to us all is that Putin owns Trump.

  212. The next "shoe to drop" may be Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. If he does that, will the lap-dog House Republicans say or do anything? We may be in the midst of a Constitutional crisis as soon as today.

  213. "We may be in the midst of a Constitutional crisis as soon as today."


    We're not already in one, after he outright ignored the widely-passed Putin Russia sanctions bill? Or after the House "covfefe" GOP, in announcing findings, ignored Democratic input to pretend there was no evidence of collusion?

    I'm surprised the troll hasn't yet ordered his Cabinet to find and destroy all copies of the Consitution, minus the parts with the guns, religious freedom (for Christians only, of course), and the expired "three-fifths" clauses—or, for that matter, reinstate the clauses.

  214. I doubt they’ll do anything. If there is such a crisis, they will try for a constitutional convention (they have been working toward that for awhile), and we will likely see the constitution rewritten in a way that will keep them in power indefinitely (like Russia, China, N. Vietnam...)

  215. We know the answer to that: The GOP is spineless and collude with Trump whenever they see an advantage to themselves. No, they wouldn't do a thing.

  216. Did Tillerson know before Trump made the announcement? I think the question is worth asking. Trump has a track record of making personnel changes without informing the personnel. James Comey comes to mind.

    That said, Tillerson was definitely at odds with Trump but I don't think that's the real reason for his departure. The Koreans don't want to work with Tillerson because he's outside the President's inner circle. Trump so effectively undermined the authority and credibility of his Secretary of State as to render Tillerson ineffectual in diplomatic negotiations. He had to be replaced.

    Pompeo might survive Korea but I'll bet he shares the same fate eventually. Trump and Pompeo will agree on a foreign policy agenda. Pompeo will go around the world promoting that agenda. Trump will contradict that agenda on Twitter and blame Pompeo for not knowing about the change. Repeat.

  217. So the North Koreans are now making staffing decisions in the executive branch...?

    Republicans used to love our country. Recent evidence now proves they hate it.

  218. Is this show The Apprentice or Survivor?

  219. Actually, it's The Bachelor.

  220. Good one!

  221. And no one has immunity.

  222. People most often leave because of a bad boss. With over 20 defections so far, wouldn't it be better to just get rid of Trump?

  223. "But it is not up to you or the readers of the NYT."

    *checks if today is November 6 yet* You're right, for now.

  224. I hate to say it, because we all suffer from it, but our electoral system and manipulative press and industries, have given us this man. We cannot get rid of him.

  225. If only reality was as simple as the simpleton, but dangerous trump!

  226. At the televised round table discussion on gun control, trump said he liked having people with different opinions around him to debate. He liked chaos. Now his reason to fire Tillerson, is that they don’t agree on some issues. Everything he says is meaningless because he always contradicts himself.

  227. Always. He's so easy to read. Some Congresss people such as Feinstein haven't learned this yet.

  228. Everything is meaningless because Trump doesn't mean what he says and he doesn't say what he means. The President is an idiot (or maybe it was moron) who is totally unqualified to lead the country.

  229. Your comment is both true and false.
    I just don't know which is which.
    I've been Trumpetized.

  230. The moron comment? Calling a spade a spade...

  231. So I guess calling your boss a moron, even if true, doesn't look good on your annual review, huh?

  232. When is enough, enough? What a ship of pathetic fools. So disgusting.

  233. Perhaps Tillerson can now spill the beans on the moron in the White House. Why we would ever want a hawkish CIA director as Secretary of State I do not know, but presumably Putin feels US relations with other countries are not yet bad enough.

  234. He will go down in history for correctly pegging Trump as a mentally unfit moron.

    Those also serve who merely tell the truth.

  235. Absolutely!!

  236. WOW -- the Coward-in-Chief fires yet Another person while that person was away on a trip (remember Comey??). NO GUTS -- can't fire anyone face to face? So, again ( as with Comey), did he resist letting him fly home on a government plane since he was officially no longer a government employee? Was he expected to Swim all the way back from Africa ????


  237. America meet your new CIA director.........

    Gina Haspel ran a "black site" CIA prison located in Thailand in 2002.[4][5] The site was codenamed "Cat’s Eye"

    The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture specifies that during their detention at the site they were waterboarded and interrogated using no longer authorized methods.[6][7] Declassified CIA cables specify that Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in a month, was sleep deprived, kept in a "large box", had his head slammed against a wall and he lost his left eye. Zubaydah was deemed, by the CIA interrogators, to not be in possession of any useful intelligence"

    America, wake up.

  238. Got it. We can't do anything until Mueller moves or November arrives.

  239. Additionally, Mr. Pompeo's bible study teacher is Pastor Drollinger, who believes that "Christians in Government have an obligation to hire only Christians and that women should not be allowed to teach grown men, ...and that the institution of the state is an avenger of wrath and its God given responsibility is to moralize a fallen world through the use of force." (NYT, Jan 6, 2018)

  240. You need to check Obama's fine print, only the military is completely forbidden, CIA exceptions exist.

  241. There was an old man from Queens
    Often a moron it seems
    Rex once once was admired
    But now he is fired
    Trump's world is whatever he deems

  242. Chaos reigns in our government.
    Pompeo is just another Trumperson who has no experience in the role he's asked to play. Tillerson at least has dealt with the N. Korean issue since he's been in office.

  243. This mentally unfit man thinks our government is his stage for a TV game show like his stupid apprentice show where he can fire people all the time. This guy is stuck in this game show mentality, he doesn't know fact from fiction. Enough of this twisted carnival show and impeach and remove this charlatan already. We all know crazy when we see crazy.

  244. "work for the devil himself"
    appropriate comment actually

  245. Lucky Mr. Tillerson, the moron fired Him.
    Now he is a free man doing what he does best .
    How about a tell all book ?

  246. I will not spend a single cent on any of these opportunists because they were fired by the very same person they sold their souls to. They don't deserve it

  247. Easy. Check it out from your local library.

  248. Perhaps Tillerson and John Boehner can play a round of golf and have a stiff drink together, reveling at their escape from all the morons.

  249. Agreeing with Theresa May was the final straw. Mr. Putin decided it was time to for Rex to go.

    This has been brewing for a year, yet finally comes as 60 minutes sits down with a porn star with pictures? If the White House catches fire or we invade North Korea Sunday morning, I told you so.

  250. Gary Cohn, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Scaramucci, Hope Hicks, Rob Porter, Omarosa, Gorka
    ...and now Rex Tillerson.
    These are the lifeboat people in the Titanic story.

  251. Trump, who claimed he would have run into Stoneman Douglas High School unarmed to stop a gunman just fired his Secretary of State via Twitter because he couldn't handle being called a moron in person. This administration depresses me so much.

  252. Nor can he fire someone face to face.

  253. Rex made the mistake of acting like an adult among children. President Trump never even communicated with him directly before he was fired. What a petulant little coward!

  254. Did Trump clear this with the Kremlin?

  255. President Trump, on the orders of the Kremlin, fires Secretary of State-

  256. Clear it with them? What do you mean clear? It was a direct order.

  257. To the WH staff: If you want to keep your job, do not call the president a "MORON". I believe he never got over it.
    On the other hand, what about Putin. Oh well, Mr. Trump looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul? Putin has all of them dancing on a string, because as a former KGB spy he knows how to do it well.