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Tillerson was fired by Trump apparently less than 12 hours after criticizing Russia in a statement. Trump was probably asleep or the firing would have been quicker. The Russian Foreign Ministry-Lavrov had trolled Tillerson last week on Facebook; Tillerson called their accusations “silly”; Tillerson fell ill shortly after staying at the same hotel as Lavrov in Africa, a few days after the former Russian spy, turned UK double agent, was poisoned in Salisbury, England (UK).
Excerpt from Tillerson Statement: “There is never a justification for this type of attack – the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation – and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior. From Ukraine to Syria – and now the UK – Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens.
We agree that those responsible – both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it – must face appropriately serious consequences. We stand in solidarity with our Allies in the United Kingdom and will continue to coordinate closely our responses.” (Rex Tillerson, hours before he got fired.)
Tillerson appears to have made this statement very late on March 12th, around 10 pm Eastern Daylight Time, based on State Dept. twitter feed time, and Trump fired him just before 9 am based on Trump twitter feed.)
We put less than 24 hours in the title, to be certain, but it appears less than 12 hours.
On March 8th, the Russia Embassy made a Facebook post saying that “something seems to have broken” in the US State Department. On March 7th they had complained that they sent a letter to the US State Department and failed to get a “proper answer” re meeting with Tillerson at a hotel in Africa. Tillerson called Russian trolling silly. “Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, was in Ethiopia at the same time as Mr. Tillerson and even stayed at the same hotel. The Russians insisted on social media that they had asked for a meeting between the two but had been rebuffed…. Mr. Tillerson dismissed the Russian taunts as “silly,” saying he had met with Mr. Lavrov more times than he could remember and that the two knew each other’s phone numbers.” “See NYTimes: “Tillerson, in Africa, Dodges Questions on Vulgarity and Trolling“The secretary of state is on a five-nation tour of Africa. He started in Ethiopia, a police state that is also home to the African Union’s headquarters.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/world/africa/tillerson-africa-shithole-russia.html (The Facebook posts are linked to within the article.)
Tillerson fell ill shortly after staying at the same hotel in Africa as Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, a few days after the Skripal poisonings in the UK. A test poisoning or failed poisoning of him? Tillerson must be happy to be fired.
Tillerson apparently divested his Exxon stock around April or May of last year. Regardless, Exxon just finished digging the world’s longest oil well for Russia at Sakahalin, where they are operator and partial owner. Exxon doesn’t intend to drill the Arctic for Russia, so Russia may have no more use for Exxon and could even throw them out of Sakhalin. They got Exxon’s technology. The west has long provided Russia with oil and gas technology – for over 100 years. Tillerson could have stepped on Russia’s oil and gas toes in Nigeria, too.
From VOA: “Trump Fires Tillerson as Secretary of State
Last Updated: March 13, 2018 2:34 PM, by Peggy Chang
WHITE HOUSE —
President Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and picked CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
Trump has also nominated Gina Haspel, the current deputy director at the Central Intelligence Agency, to replace Pompeo at the CIA.
Trump told reporters Tuesday morning he and Tillerson “have been talking about this for a long time,” and they “got a long quite well”, but they have different mindset and different thinking. For instance, the president said they did not agree on the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
“When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible, I guess he thought it’s okay,” he said. “I want to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same.” During the Obama administration, the U.S. and other major powers struck the deal in which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of international economic sanctions.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the agreement as a bad deal and threatened to dismantle it. By contrast, Trump said he and Pompeo are more like-minded. ”With Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process, I think it’s going to go very well,” he said, adding “Mike Pompeo will be a truly great Secretary of State, I have total confidence in him.” Trump also pointed out he did not discuss much with Tillerson regarding his decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “I made that decision by myself, Rex wasn’t, as you know, in the country,” he said. “I made the North Korea decision with consultations from many people, but I made that decision by myself,” he said. A senior White House official said Tuesday Tillerson’s ouster occurred at this time because Trump wanted to “have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations.”
Earlier Tuesday, Trump thanked Tillerson on Twitter.
According to Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, Tillerson, who just completed a trip to Africa, planned on staying at the State Department and suggested Tillerson was surprised by his ouster.
“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.” Shortly after issuing the statement, Goldstein was fired.
Trump and Tillerson have clashed for months over several issues. Tillerson did not dispute reports that he called the president a “moron,” leaving that responsibility to State Department Heather Nauert, who maintained Tillerson “does not use that type of language.”
[chart showing Tillerson-Trump differences]
In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said Pompeo, a former Army calvary officer, is the best candidate for Secretary of State at this “critical juncture.”
“He will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said.
Pompeo said he is “deeply grateful” to the president for the opportunity to serve as the nation’s top diplomat.
Haspel said she is “humbled” by Trump’s confidence in her and added if confirmed, “I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office.” Before Pompeo and Haspel can assume the positions, they must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching and Wayne Lee contributed to this report.” https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-to-replace-tillerson-with-pompeo/4296338.html
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
March 12, 2018
The United States was in touch with our Allies in the United Kingdom ahead of today’s announcement, including in a call between Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Secretary Johnson this morning. We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week.
There is never a justification for this type of attack – the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation – and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior. From Ukraine to Syria – and now the UK – Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens.
We agree that those responsible – both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it – must face appropriately serious consequences. We stand in solidarity with our Allies in the United Kingdom and will continue to coordinate closely our responses.” https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/03/279201.htm
InsideClimate News reports: “Mike Pompeo, Climate Policy Foe, Picked to Replace Tillerson as Secretary of State“: “Trump fired Rex Tillerson, a former Exxon CEO who supported staying in the Paris climate accord. Pompeo is a Koch brothers ally and climate policy critic….”
Russia may have gotten all they wanted and needed from ExxonMobil, since Exxon will no longer drill the Arctic for them:
“Sakhalin-1 completes world’s longest well“, November 29, 2017
“The ExxonMobil-developed Fast Drill technology was used to drill the 15,000m well” Read the article here: https://www.innovoil.co.uk/single-post/2017/11/29/Sakhalin-1-completes-world’s-longest-well
Why Exxon backs Climate Deal: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-31/exxon-conoco-back-paris-climate-deal-as-trump-weighs-pact-exit
EMPHASIS OUR OWN THROUGHOUT.