U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Texan, leaving Trump’s Cabinet

The departure of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Wichita Falls native, comes after a year of escalating tensions between Tillerson and President Donald Trump.

By Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump removed U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a native Texan, from his Cabinet post, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The president made the move on Friday, according to The Washington Post, and in a public statement said “a great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months” of Tillerson’s tenure.

The news comes after a year of escalating tensions between Tillerson and Trump, including reports in October that Tillerson called Trump “a moron.”

The change at the State Department comes at a consequential moment in American foreign policy: Trump agreed last week to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A series of senior Trump administration officials have left the administration in recent months, a remarkable level of churn so early in a presidential term.

Tillerson leaves behind a State Department that is widely viewed as understaffed, strapped for resources and demoralized, due to Trump administration pushes for budget cuts.

A Wichita Falls native, Tillerson was a surprise choice for the position but had the backing of much of the Republican foreign policy establishment. He had no diplomatic experience, but was the longtime CEO of ExxonMobil.

Tillerson is closely aligned with a fellow Texan, NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

 

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