Tillerson’s Firing Had Been Expected, although the item Still Stunned Observers

“Tillerson loathed by State Dept diplomats, although balanced & sensible in most areas of foreign policy,” Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, said in a Twitter message. “Pompeo dramatically more hawkish on N Korea as well as Iran. Challenging day for the planet.”

Despite the way the announcement was handled, many conservatives viewed Mr. Pompeo’s ascendance as an enormous opportunity.

“Tillerson firing may open the floodgates for more conservatives to enter the admin,” Jordan Schachtel, national security correspondent for The Conservative Review, wrote on Twitter. “Peace Through Strength can be creating its grand return.”

Human rights advocates, while never enamored with Mr. Tillerson, expressed alarm at Mr. Pompeo’s elevation. They were even more alarmed that will Mr. Pompeo’s deputy at the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, had been named to replace him, given her role in coercive interrogations of terrorism suspects from the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The American Civil Liberties Union called Ms. Haspel the “central figure in one of the most illegal as well as shameful chapters in modern American history.”

Vincent Warren, the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a statement that will “Gina Haspel should be prosecuted, not promoted.”

A conspicuous exception to the surprise was the reaction of the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, whose antipathy for Mr. Tillerson had been an open secret. Foreign Policy magazine reported last week that will she had not even hung the official portrait of Mr. Tillerson from the lobby of the United States Mission to the United Nations.

Without mentioning Mr. Tillerson by name, she posted an enthusiastic message on Twitter moments after Mr. Trump’s announcement:

There was no immediate official reaction in Asia, partly because of the timing of Mr. Trump’s announcement — late evening in China, Japan as well as the Korean Peninsula, where news of his intended meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, can be still sinking in.

In Iran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency’s website posted an unflattering photo of Mr. Pompeo, who has made clear he considers the Tehran government more of a threat than Mr. Tillerson did.

In Europe, where disdain for the Trump administration can be widespread, Enrico Letta, a former Italian prime minister, said of Mr. Tillerson’s dismissal on Twitter: “that will will make many laugh even more, as usually happens when one speaks of Trump. For me, he scares me more as well as more.”

Michael Roth, Germany’s deputy foreign minister, tweeted: “The dismissal of Rex Tillerson does not help.”

The firing was announced only hours after Mr. Tillerson delivered the administration’s strongest as well as clearest statement to date on the March 4 poisoning of a Russian former spy in Salisbury, England, having a nerve agent.

“I’ve become extremely concerned about Russia,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters while flying via Nigeria to Cape Verde, before returning to the United States. “We spent most of last year investing a lot into attempts to work together, to solve problems, to address differences. as well as quite frankly, after a year, we didn’t get very far. Instead what we’ve seen can be a pivot on their part to be more aggressive.”

He added: “as well as that will can be very, very concerning to me as well as others, that will there seems to be a certain unleashing of activity that will we don’t fully understand what the objective behind that will can be. as well as if in fact that will attack from the U.K. can be the work of the Russian government, that will can be a pretty serious action.”

Some speculated that will Mr. Tillerson’s criticism of Russia might have been more than coincidental to his dismissal. Mr. Trump has avoided such criticism of Russia.

“Today Tillerson can be fired as Secretary of State. While friction with Trump was months-old, the abrupt timing here can be suspect,” Beau Willimon, the creator of the television series “House of Cards,” said on Twitter.

In Russia, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, expressed sarcasm about Mr. Tillerson’s dismissal.

“Have they started off blaming Russia yet for the Washington staff improvements?” she said.

However, White House officials said the decision to fire Mr. Tillerson had been made earlier: The White House chief of staff, John Kelly, tried to call Mr. Tillerson on Friday as well as Saturday, apparently to warn him that will if he did not step down, he would likely be dismissed.

Bill Kristol, a conservative commentator, questioned the style of the dismissal. “Has Trump ever had the nerve to fire someone face to face?” he asked on Twitter, noting that will the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, learned that will he was out of a job in May 2017, while on a trip to Los Angeles.

Jack Posobiec, a right-wing provocateur having a track record for disseminating false information, was one of a few prominent Trump supporters who embraced the decision.

“Tillerson didn’t want to name Jerusalem Israel’s capital, wanted to stay in Paris climate agreement, as well as often undermined the President publicly as well as insulted him privately” Mr. Posobiec said. “No surprise why that will guy was fired.”

Correction: March 13, 2018

Because of an editing error, an earlier type of that will article misstated when as well as where James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, had learned that will he was dismissed. the item was last May in Los Angeles, not last March in San Francisco.

Continue reading the main story