Pompeo Could Succeed Where Tillerson Failed

Randall Padilla
March 14, 2018

Earlier this morning, President Donald Trump fired Rex Tillerson [VIDEO], Secretary of State, for disagreeing with him.

Nearly from the get-go, Tillerson, the former CEO of Irving-based Exxon Mobil, seemed out of sorts and out of step with his mercurial boss.

The Iran nuclear deal was one area of disagreement Trump singled out with Tillerson, a former oil executive who the president chose to serve as the nation's top diplomat despite having no prior public sector experience.

But that's only one example of the many differences between Tillerson's State Department and Trump's White House.

Other European officials and former US officials said Pompeo's rise, if he is confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate, might have a more ambiguous effect on the negotiations and that, in any case, Trump's views are paramount.

The Secretary of State went on record to say that he favoured talks with the North. Trump retorted: "Don't waste your time". "At the same time, I think Mike appreciates this president taking a different approach, really shaking up the situation, and perhaps providing an opening where we can get some different results than we have over the past 25 years".

"I understand that that was a whole-of-administration strategy, so I'm looking forward to the new secretary of state continuing with deep engagement in our region", she said.

In announcing Tillerson's sacking earlier Tuesday, Trump lavished praise on Pompeo, a former United States army officer and congressman who led the Central Intelligence Agency for almost 14 months, saying he would do a "fantastic job!"

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti, March 9, 2018. Hours later, he was sacked, too.

Trump in recent days has told confidants that he feels emboldened, confident in his decisions to order new global trade on tariffs and to meet with Kim Jong Un and far less willing to put up with disloyalty around him, according to a person who has spoken to the president in recent days but was not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. Meanwhile, Tillerson's aggressive budget cuts and an ill-conceived reorganization plan alienated potential allies in both the State Department and Congress.

Pompeo, for instance, has tended to play down the intelligence community's findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election and to stress Iran's missile development and role in Middle East conflicts instead of its adherence to the 2015 nuclear deal, some officials have said. After hours of bureaucratic tug-of-war, Tillerson, in his final somber turn before the cameras, said he would be delegating his responsibilities to deputy secretary John Sullivan at the end of the workday and would resign effective at the end of the month. "President Trump's actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin". And I've also spoken to White House Chief of Staff Kelly, to ensure we have clarity as to the days ahead.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said the Senate confirmation process for Pompeo should be "vigorous".

Some said Washington may take a harder line under Pompeo and the Europeans may be under more pressure to offer concessions, while others suggested his views on the deal have evolved and he may be better placed to influence Trump to keep it.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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