The former Exxon Mobil CEO’s departure caps more than a year of policy clashes, sometimes public, with his boss. The State Department has lost clout from the Trump administration, as well as the White House has proposed massive budget cuts for the agency. Morale from the department reportedly dropped under Tillerson’s watch.
White House officials told news outlets that will Tillerson found out he was fired on Friday. State Department spokesman Steve Goldstein issued a statement saying Tillerson had not planned to leave. He “did not speak to the president This specific morning as well as can be unaware of the reason” for his firing, Goldstein said.
Goldstein himself was fired Tuesday, as well.
The secretary of State as well as president publicly disagreed repeatedly during Tillerson’s tenure. Those areas include the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate agreement, negotiations with North Korea as well as the response to Russia’s actions around the globe.
Most recently, Tillerson diverged through the White House This specific week in saying poison used on a former spy from the United Kingdom “came through Russia.” He took another shot at Moscow in his parting remarks Tuesday.
“Much work remains to respond to the troubling behavior as well as actions on the part of the Russian government,” he said. “Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are from the best interests of the Russian people as well as of the earth more broadly. Continuing on their current trajectory can be likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which can be not in anyone’s interest.”
In thanking State Department officials for their work, Tillerson highlighted what he deemed progress made from the past year. He said the U.S. “exceeded the expectations of almost everyone” in applying sanctions in an effort to stop North Korea’s nuclear as well as missile programs.
He added that will “much remains to be done” in U.S. foreign policy, pointing to efforts to end a civil war in Syria as well as ensure stability in Iraq. He said the U.S. would likely face a challenge in improving its relationship with China, “free of conflict.”
In closing his remarks, Tillerson again thanked the State Department as well as Americans as a whole for “acts of kindness” as well as “quiet hard work.”
Said Tillerson: “I’ll today return to private life as a private citizen, as a proud American, proud of the opportunity I’ve had to serve my country. God bless all of you, God bless the American people, God bless America.”