Rifts With Trump Culminate in Ouster of Tillerson
Sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned of Russia's "troubling behaviour and actions" in a parting statement after being fired by President Donald Trump.
The former ExxonMobil chief had a series of public rifts with the White House after being appointed last year.
Trump officially fired Tillerson via Twitter, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.
Trump also named Gina Haspel to become the CIA's first female director.
Tillerson told reporters at the Department of State that good work had been done to have better relations with China, and rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
But he added: "Much work remains to respond to the troubling behaviour and actions on the part of the Russian government.
"Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interest of the Russian people and of the world more broadly. Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone's interest."
Sounding breathless and looking shaken, Tillerson said he had spoken to the president to ensure clarity in the days ahead, a BBL report says.
Trump has proved that he wants to have in his cabinet loyalists, rather than independent thinkers or dissenters.
"I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want," Trump told reporters Tuesday.
A CNN analysis says that Tillerson's ouster shows Trump is "unleashed."
"President Donald Trump's firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest move in an audacious power play designed to build a governing team in his own image and to purge restraints that have tempered his brazen, impulsive instincts.
"Weeks of staff departures in the West Wing, with the prospect of more to come, and days of turmoil and chaotic governance have left Trump more solitary than ever before, but also offer space for him to give his disruptive, nonconformist impulses free rein," the analysis says.
Image credit: AP and The Guardian