Tillerson promises smooth transition after firing

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President Trump's decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday had members of Maine's congressional delegation focusing on his replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and the challenges he will face from Russian Federation and North Korea if he is confirmed by the Senate.

"When Mike is over in, say, the Koreas or over dealing with Russian Federation or the Middle East, I think people are going to know that he speaks for the president". Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!"

Separately, Steve Goldstein, the State Department undersecretary who has served as Tillerson's spokesperson, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and had been on the job for three months, was sacked by the White House after contradicting the official White House statement about Tillerson's departure.

By projecting weakness to Pyongyang, Tillerson was undercutting Trump's message of strength - and thus making war more likely.

The former Exxon Mobil chief executives refusal to acknowledge the State Departments unique role in shaping Americas relations overseas also left him with few supporters in the federal government and among Americas allies.

"The anxiety that Trump has about Tillerson being more competent than him has finally played itself out".

In October, NBC news reported that Mr Tillerson called the president a "moron," something Mr Tillerson never actually denied. Tillerson also had policy differences with Trump, supporting both the Paris accord on climate change and the Iran nuclear deal. Goldstein's swift firing after refuting the Trump administration's rhetoric further reinforces the erratic nature of the White House under Trump's tenure and stands as a cause for concern moving forward.

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In talks, the United States should not expect any European Union concessions to win an exemption, European Union officials said. Ms Malmstrom said on Friday that she would seek clarity on the U.S. decision and was counting on an European Union exemption.

If Pompeo is approved for the top spot at the State Department, experts expect the USA could formally withdraw from the Iran deal, which provided billions of dollars' worth of sanction relief to the country in exchange for its promise to scale back its nuclear program.

Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by President Donald Trump on Tuesday to head the CIA, is a controversial figure, backed by many in the US intelligence community but regarded warily by some in Congress for her involvement in the agency's "black site" detention facilities. Between 2003 and 2005, she oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded, current and former US intelligence officials told the Associated Press. There was no indication during the five-nation visit that Tillerson's departure was imminent; Goldstein said on Tuesday morning that the secretary had been expected to remain in office for the foreseeable future. "I think it's important we just continue to say to Russia, 'Look, you think we don't see what you're doing". I wanted to either break it or do something, he felt a little differently.

"I wish Rex a lot of good things", the president added.

"All our work is going into delivering a credible package that is sellable to Trump", said a European diplomat on condition of anonymity.

Mr Tillerson is the latest in a long list of employees who have left the White House since Mr Trump came into power.

"I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture".

Menendez also claims he is open to seeing how Pompeo's confirmation unfolds, but highlighted that secretary of state takes a very "different set of skills" than what is required of a Central Intelligence Agency director.