NBC reported last July that Tillerson used the term "moron" preceded by an obscenity after a meeting at the Pentagon with Cabinet officials. "Trump fired him because he tried to push Trump to do things that he didn't want to do", Lederman said, citing the Iran deal and the Paris Climate agreement.
Dr. Tim Blessing, a presidential historian at Alvernia University, said the turnover in the Trump administration is unusual but not unprecedented.
The White House noted that Trump informed Tillerson of the decision to fire him last Friday.
While many have been critical of Mr. Tillerson, I think he was probably very good for the position during this tense period. "I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently".
Goldstein publicly contradicted the White House account of how Tillerson was sacked on Tuesday morning.
He said he would delegate all authority to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, who will serve as acting secretary until Pompeo is confirmed.
On the other hand, unlike Tillerson, Mike Pompeo is very close to Trump's thinking on these issues.
This could mean a major shift in foreign policy. Tillerson also thanked employees from the Departments of State and Defense, but pointedly declined to thank Trump.
Pompeo will replace him at the State Department, and Gina Haspel - the deputy director at the CIA - will succeed him at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed.
However, the former Secretary of State also added: "Much work remains to respond to the troubling behaviour and actions on the part of the Russian government".
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In Pompeo, Trump is hoping for a secretary of state who will heel to the hard-line thinking of his administration. The impact of this shift on the US-Russia relations and the US foreign policy in general is probably limited.
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So, the replacement Tillerson for another piece was an expected event. Goldstein said the former Exxon Mobil CEO was "unaware of the reason" he was sacked and "had had every intention of staying".
Mr Tillerson's dismissal follows a wave of departures and turmoil in Mr Trump's inner circle.
"The State Department... has ceased to function in any recognizable manner and Pompeo has no interest in resuscitating that 'house of wimps, '" he said.
Pompeo defended the president's move but stressed the USA and its allies will continue to press North Korea in advance of any Trump-Kim summit.
So when the White House heard this from the official State Department spokesman, they reviewed their process, they realized the degrading way they fired Rex Tillerson, and they apologized. Trump is set to meet Kim by the end of May.
Unlike others in the administration who have always been within Trump's orbit, Tillerson didn't know Trump well at the start of his tenure and his independence was seen as a problem.
Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times.
After 13 months of feeling demoralized under Tillerson, several senior State Department officials said they believed Pompeo was poised to elevate the department's role in foreign policy.
Rex Tillerson's tenure as Secretary of State is over and it nearly feels like an act of mercy to put an old, sick pet down.
Tillerson and Mattis had pressed a skeptical Trump to stick with the nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers, and Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation. In his career as a congressman and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he was hawkish, deeply skeptical (he never accepted Hillary Clinton's explanation for the 2012 attack in Benghazi in which US personnel were killed) and doctrinaire. Referencing the departure of many senior diplomats, Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said Pompeo will "need to recruit and fill the many offices that have been left vacant".