The new US Secretary of State is well-known to Australia and the government looks forward to working with him, Treasurer Scott Morrison says.
The firing comes amid ongoing concerns related to Russian Federation and North Korea, two countries Tillerson cited when he addressed his firing in a statement streamed live on WFMZ.com Tuesday afternoon. Trump himself acknowledged Tuesday before boarding Air Force One for California that he and Tillerson had been discussing him leaving since the summer.
"He dived into policy matters in a way that unnerved many professionals at the agency", the official added, "and morale was taking a blow that was spreading from the analytical side, where some people feared he was tailoring some PDBs (President's Daily Briefs) to tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than what the intelligence assessments were". After the agreement was completed in 2015, Pompeo worked tirelessly as a member of Congress to meet with European bankers, diplomats and CEOs to make the case that investing in Iran was not as safe as they were hearing from John Kerry, who was secretary of state at the time.
He spoke on Tuesday of his desire to break the deal, but noted that Mr Tillerson "felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same". Pompeo was brought into the White House Friday after returning from an overseas trip and was offered the job formally by phone Saturday. The move was made after Goldstein released a statement in his own name contradicting the White House's account of details pertaining to Tillerson's firing Tuesday morning.
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In announcing Tillerson's sacking earlier Tuesday, Trump lavished praise on Pompeo, a former United States army officer and congressman who led the Central Intelligence Agency for almost 14 months, saying he would do a "fantastic job!"
On Monday, the day before he was sacked, Tillerson said the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain "clearly came from Russia" and "will trigger a response".
Trump will be relying on a State Department that is undergoing huge cuts.
He also would surely benefit from being more in sync with Trump, who has often been at odds with Tillerson, and would likely be seen by foreign leaders as a more credible surrogate for the president. The accord was signed in 2015 by almost every country in the world, including the US and China. Compare Tillerson's response to that of Pompeo. Top economic adviser Gary Cohn announced his resignation last week, not long after communications director Hope Hicks and staff secretary Rob Porter both departed near the start of Trump's second year in office. It also remains to be seen how Pompeo's presence at the helm will affect Trump's posture toward North Korea and Russia, which Tillerson - once seen as too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin - blasted in a press conference on his way out the door.
But Pompeo has also gone against Trump on some issues.