"We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things", said the president. His political obituaries were already being written after Trump undermined him or sidelined him on several issues, including the Iran nuclear deal (which Tillerson supported). With Mike Pompeo we have a very similar thought process. "I can tell you who is going to win", the president told Forbes magazine during an interview later. "The relationship is very, very good, and that's what I need as secretary of state".
The state department then released an extraordinary statement saying, "The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason (he was fired), but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling".
A top State Department official said Trump never explained to Tillerson the reason why he was sacked.
While Tillerson's laconic Texas drawl was at odds with Trump's style, the president may have found his mirror image in Pompeo, who shares his penchant for being combative and opinionated. "Congratulations to all!" Trump said on Twitter.
The move comes less than a week after the Trump administration agreed to a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump conceded Tuesday that he and Tillerson often were not on the same page.More news: Mohamed Salah transfer value rises highest in Europe this season
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest in a long string of staff departures under President Donald Trump.
He was distrusted by veteran State Department employees, who viewed him as an outside interloper with little affinity for the organisation he headed.
Michael Flynn Resigned in February as Trump's national security adviser after disclosures that he had discussed USA sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office and had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
In October, Pompeo caused a stir when he said the intelligence community's assessment of Russia's campaign interference was that it "did not affect the outcome of the election". According to The Associated Press, she ran the secret Central Intelligence Agency prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002.
When Ms. Haspel was picked as the Deputy Director past year, her career was lauded by veteran intelligence officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who recently retired.More news: Devon Energy (DVN) Now Covered by Analysts at UBS Group
Mr Pompeo is a former hardline conservative Republican lawmaker from Kansas and a Trump loyalist.
Reports had swirled since previous year of a schism in the Trump administration between the commander-in-chief and his top diplomat.
There were also reports of unconventional meetings Pompeo held at the CIA, including with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, and William Binney, a former National Security Agency whistleblower who claims someone with access to the Democratic National Committee leaked its data rather than Russian hackers.
Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.More news: The 3 Republicans who could challenge Donald Trump in 2020