WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Just a day after Tillerson broke from the White House’s official non-response the UK confirming that a deadly nerve gas attack on their soil was carried out by Russian operatives, calling it a “really egregious act.”
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
It’s unclear whether Tillerson’s decision to go farther than Trump in condemning Russia for the attack played a role in his firing, but in a turn of events that might not please Trump, Mr. Tillerson has already received a noteworthy call of support from somewhere on the Hill.
“Rex! This is Bob! Hey, man, just got the news about you being fired,” a readout of a call from Special Counsel Robert Mueller provided to various media outlets states, “and I just wanted to offer my condolences, because I know that must’ve been the roughest 14 months of your life, working for him. Anyway, my office is just down the road, and I’m always here to lend a sympathetic ear and accurate stenographer.”
Tillerson reportedly appreciated the offer, but wasn’t sure about meeting with Mueller.
“No pressure, Rex. Just you know, in case you have anything you’d like to talk about, or get off your chest, no big whoop,” Mueller assured the former Secretary of State. “I’m telling you, I’ll just sit there and listen to anything you have to say, Rex. And my steno is the best in the business; you will be quoted accurately.”
It’s unclear at this time whether Tillerson will accept the offer, but Mr. Mueller has reportedly offered to “be flexible” on the venue, time, and place.
“Look, if you wanna give yourself a nickname like Rex Throat or Deep Tillerson, we can do that too. I’m open on this, Rex,” Mueller apparently told Tillerson.
The State Department has confirmed that Tillerson didn’t know of his firing until he had read Trump’s tweet himself.
NEW: State Dept. statement says Sec. Tillerson "had every intention of staying…The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason." https://t.co/lhhFhoY4Jh pic.twitter.com/1UuEictuOL
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2018
“Rex, the orange one didn’t even have the guts to fire you in person, right,” Mueller probed Tillerson.
Mr. Tillerson confirmed that he hadn’t heard of his firing until the tweet from Trump came in.
“Gee, that’s pretty disrespectful of him, Rex. Anyway, you just condemned Russia pretty harshly yesterday, right,” Mueller asked.
Tillerson confirmed that he had just condemned Russia’s nerve gas attack in the U.K.
“Crazy, man, just crazy. Timing seems a little suspicious and insulting to you, if you ask me,” Mueller said. “But you didn’t, so whatever. Just, keep my number handy, Rex. In case you think of anything you’d like to get off your chest.
Tillerson agreed to call Mueller if he decided he needed to talk to someone.
The White House could not be reached for comment.