President Donald Trump fired Sec. of State Rex Tillerson after the nation's top diplomat unequivocally condemned Russia for its attempted assassination of a former Russian intelligence agent in the United Kingdom. Experts believe that Russia used a nerve agent in the assassination attempt.
Members of the White House and Congressional Republicans were reportedly stunned by Tillerson's firing.
President Trump announced on Tuesday that he had ousted Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and will replace him with Mike Pompeo, now the C.I.A. director, ending the 14-month tenure of the nation’s chief diplomat who repeatedly had found himself at odds with the White House on a variety of key foreign policy issues
Mr. Tillerson found out he had been fired before dawn, shortly after his flight returned from a weeklong trip to Africa, said Steve Goldstein, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy.
The president did not personally call Mr. Tillerson, and Mr. Goldstein said he did not know how the chief diplomat learned he had been fired.