Rex Tillerson Out at State, to Be Replaced by CIA Chief Mike Pom - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Rex Tillerson Out at State, to Be Replaced by CIA Chief Mike Pompeo

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Rex Tillerson says he is delegating his responsibilities at the end of the workday Tuesday to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Speaking to reporters hours after being unceremoniously fired by President Donald Trump in a tweet, Tillerson says he will be formally stepping down from his post at the end of the month.

Tillerson is calling for an orderly transition to Mike Pompeo, the CIA director whom Trump has designated as Tillerson's successor pending confirmation by the Senate. He encouraged State Department employees to remain focused on their jobs.

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

Trump released a statement shortly before leaving for his trip to California saying he was "proud" to nominate Pompeo to replace Tillerson. 

"His experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the CIA have prepared him well for his new role and I urge his swift confirmation," said Mr. Trump in a statement. He added, " want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well."

President Trump says he and Tillerson "disagreed on things."

Trump cites their divergent opinions on the Iran nuclear deal. Iran agreed before Trump took office to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. The president regularly criticizes the agreement as a bad deal and has repeatedly threatened to end it.

Trump spoke Tuesday of his desire to break the deal, but notes that Tillerson "felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same."

According to the White House, Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo. If confirmed, she would become the CIA's first female director. 

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."

He added, "In my time as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, I have worked alongside many remarkable Foreign Service officers and Department of State leaders serving here in the United States and on the very edge of freedom. I know I will learn from them and, as President Trump set out in his State of the Union Address, work hard to ensure that "our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free."

The White House also let go of State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein.

The White House called Goldstein to tell him he is no longer needed. Goldstein was then called up to Tillerson's office for a meeting. Tillerson spent the morning at home -- after flying in from Africa early Wednesday morning -- but he is now at the department.

Goldstein has largely fallen into the role as Tillerson's spokesperson, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate last year. He has been on the job for less than three months and is known for being loyal to Tillerson. He has encouraged Tillerson to speak more to the press. 

Goldstein did attend many meetings at the White House, and consistently said Tillerson was going to bring foreign policy decision-making back to the State Department. 

"The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security," Goldstein said in a statement before his own dismissal and after President Trump tweeted that Tillerson was being replaced as Secretary of State by Mike Pompeo, who had been serving as CIA director. "He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world. The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling."

(The Associated Press, CBS News contributed to this report.)

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