The Rexit: Tillerson Is Out

After a turbulent tenure, Trump bids U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson farewell.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was ousted Tuesday, just hours after the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive officer returned from a nearly week-long trip to Africa.

Trump said he’s nominating Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo for the State Department job, saying, “I respect his intellect.” Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel would succeed Pompeo, Trump said, becoming the first woman to lead the agency. Haspel is a career spy, with more than three decades’ experience at the agency.

The president’s decision comes as his administration is preparing for high stakes and historic talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump told reporters at the White House that he and Tillerson had disagreements over key issues, including the Iran nuclear deal. 

On Monday, Tillerson joined the British government in saying the poison used in an attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. clearly came from Russia, though the White House itself had stopped short of assigning blame.

Here’s a look back at one of the shortest secretary of state tenures in modern history.

Tillerson (left) meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 4, 2017.  

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Tillerson speaks during his confirmation hearing in Washington on Jan. 11, 2017. 

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The newly instated Secretary of State delivers remarks to employees at the State Department on Feb. 2, 2017.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Luis Videgaray (right), Mexico's minister of foreign affairs, shakes hands with Tillerson during a bilateral press conference in Mexico City on Feb. 23, 2017. 

Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

Donald Trump (center), James Mattis (right) and Tillerson attend a Cabinet meeting at the White House on March 13, 2017. 

Photographer: Michael Reynolds/Pool via Bloomberg

Tillerson (right) meets with Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, at the Department of State in Washington on May 10, 2017, the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. 

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Tillerson speaks during a news conference following the inaugural U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue meeting at the State Department in Washington on June 21, 2017. 

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Chrystia Freeland (right), Canada's minister of foreign affairs, meets with Tillerson on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Dec. 19, 2017. 

Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg

Trump (center) speaks while Tillerson listens during a meeting with members of the United Nations Security Council at the White House on Jan. 29, 2018. 

Photographer: Chris Kleponis/Pool via Bloomberg

Tillerson leaves the stage after speaking during the second annual U.S.-Saudi Arabia CEO Summit in Washington on April 19, 2017. 

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Olukunle Bamgbose (left), Nigeria's permanent secretary of foreign affairs, meets with Tillerson in Abuja, Nigeria, on March 12, 2018. 

Photographer: Jonathan Ernst/AFP via Getty Images