Germany says Trump dismissal of Tillerson won’t improve things

Trump
U.S. President, Donald Trump (Photo Credit: Financial Tribune)

The firing of U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, will not lead to an improvement in strained ties with Germany, Deputy Foreign Minister, Michael Roth, said on Tuesday.

“The dismissal of Rex Tillerson does not make anything better,” Mr. Roth said in a tweet.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had replaced Mr. Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director, Mike Pompeo, ousting the embattled top diplomat after several public rifts.

In an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn, Mr. Trump told reporters there was a “chemistry” problem between him and Mr. Tillerson.

“It was different mindset. It was a different thinking,” Mr. Trump said, adding: ‘’I think Rex will be much happier now.”

A senior White House official said Mr. Trump wanted to orchestrate a change to his national security team ahead of planned high-stakes talks with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

Mr. Tillerson, a Texan and the chief executive of energy company, ExxonMobil for a decade before joining the administration, has long been dogged by reports that his time in office will be cut short.

Mr. Trump frequently cast Mr. Tillerson as weak and clueless.

Their long-simmering tensions erupted into the public in October, after Mr. Tillerson suggested the U.S. could engage in talks with North Korea.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man … ‘Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!’ Trump tweeted on October 1.

Days later NBC News reported that Mr. Tillerson had called the president a “moron” after a July meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials.

Mr. Tillerson never denied using the description, but said he would not be part of any effort to divide the administration.

Mr. Trump then challenged his top diplomat “to compare IQ tests” in an interview with Forbes magazine.

The 65-year-old Tillerson was at odds with a number of Trump’s policies.

For example, he favoured the U.S. remaining in the Paris climate accord and has been less harsh towards Iran on questions relating to a deal to keep it from attaining nuclear weapons.

Mr. Tillerson arrived back from a four-nation tour of Africa early Tuesday.

The trip was cut short by a day, a schedule change Mr. Tillerson had said was due to the developments with North Korea.

Mr. Trump added that CIA Deputy Director, Gina Haspel, is in line to become the next CIA director, which would make her the first woman to hold that job.

Mr. Pompeo, 54, is an avowed opponent of the Iran nuclear deal and Tea Party conservative, who used to represent Kansas in the U.S. Congress.

Mr. Pompeo was highly critical of Iran’s nuclear deal with six world powers, which was agreed to in 2015 and meant to constrain Tehran’s ability to make nuclear weapons for at least 15 years.

Mr. Trump has pledged to pull the U.S. out of the deal if substantial changes are not soon made.

(dpa/NAN)


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