President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he is substituting Tillerson using CIA Director Mike Pompeo, minutes following The Washington Post first reported that he had ousted Tillerson on Friday.
The White House said Trump requested Tillerson to resign on Friday so the president might have a "brand new team in place" for an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
But a State Department spokesman told CNN that Tillerson found out about his firing when Trump announced it on Twitter on Tuesday.
As per a statement which followed Trump's statement, Tillerson "had every intention of staying," the State Department said. "The Secretary didn't talk to the President and is unaware of this reason."
The State Department officer that contradicted the White House on Tillerson's firing was fired, The Associated Press reported.
Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he "decided by myself" to eliminate Tillerson, also noted that "Rex, as you probably know, wasn't in this nation" in the time. He alluded to their disagreements, stating, "we were not thinking the same," and called, "Rex will be happier now."
Reporters traveling with him said they had no idea the secretary of state was fired on Friday.
Trump announced that he intends to nominate Gina Haspel, currently deputy CIA director, to substitute Pompeo as head of the spy agency. Most of Trump's statement focused on Pompeo. He said Tillerson in the conclusion.
"A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen years, and I wish his loved ones," Trump said. Notably missing from first Trump administration statements about the secretary of state was anything from Tillerson himself. The ousted secretary of state did not make his own statement until Tuesday afternoon, when he announced at the State Department he would officially exit on March 31.
Aside from imagining his telephone call with the president, Tillerson didn't mention invite Trump in his remarks. Just a day ago, Tillerson made a statement holding Russia accountable for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, placing him at odds with the White House, that didn't single out Russia.
Tillerson's death comes amid reports of his disappointment with the tumultuous atmosphere in Trump's White House, in addition to mounting criticism of his performance as the country's leading diplomat and his extreme decrease of civil servant ranks at the State Department.
His job safety had always seemed precarious, but on Nov. 30, The New York Times reported that the White House was considering pushing out Tillerson and replacing him with Pompeo.
The White House and State Department pushed on the accounts, however that day, neither Trump nor White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would state whether the president had confidence in Tillerson.
Rex is here," Trump told reporters.
Trump and Tillerson's relationship has been filled with tension.Tillerson reportedly considered resigning after Trump's widely criticized speech into the Boy Scouts of America in July. On Oct. 4, NBC News reported that Tillerson predicted Trump "a moron" during a meeting with high officials on the summer.
Following the report, Tillerson held an unusual press conference, where he showered Trump with praise, confirming the president is "smart"
Notably, he did not dispute whether he predicted Trump "a moron," leaving that endeavor to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who claimed that "the secretary does not use that type of language"
Attacking the reporting as "bogus," Trump afterwards said he appreciated Tillerson's comments and that he had "complete confidence in Rex."
However, less than a week later, he suggested at a Forbes magazine interview that if the story were true, he must "compare IQ tests" with Tillerson.