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The White House called Goldstein to tell him that he is no longer needed.

She did not immediately make any additional comments. He has said that Russia's election meddling poses a threat to the USA and other countries and told Fox News last month that Russian Federation was already trying to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections. "The world needs selfless leaders like these ready to work with longstanding allies", Tillerson said.

"It's a surprise, but Japan-U.S. ties won't be shaken". Last October, Trump took the symbolic step of "decertifying" the Iran deal while still officially keeping the U.S a party to the accord. Rex Tillerson adds to the chaos & turmoil of this Administration.

Pompeo, a Republican hawk and former Army officer, has long railed against Tehran and the Iran deal.

Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had refrained from saying Moscow was responsible.

Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned in his farewell remarks on Tuesday that Washington must do more to respond to Russia's "troubling behavior and actions".

But is a awful time to have to sack your Secretary of State. Tillerson declines to address the report itself, saying he is "not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration". But Republicans have just a slim 51-seat majority, and confirmation is not certain.

Some foreign policy experts expressed dismay at the decision to swap out top diplomats so soon before the unprecedented meeting and anxious that Pompeo would encourage Trump to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and be hawkish on North Korea. Mr Trump has vowed to stop waiving USA sanctions unless European allies agreed to strengthen the deal's terms by consenting to a side agreement that would effectively eliminate provisions that allow Iran to gradually resume some advanced atomic work.

However, Trump's abrupt move, as always, met with some harsh criticisms, accusing the president of hunting down difference of opinions and those committed to high standards in his administration, favoring "men and women" who see the world as the president does, and who would nearly never challenge or disagree with him.

Trump spoke Tuesday of his desire to break the deal, but notes that Tillerson "felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same".

Tillerson is calling for an orderly transition to Mike Pompeo, the Central Intelligence Agency director whom Trump has designated as Tillerson's successor pending confirmation by the Senate.

Trump says he and Pompeo have a "very, very similar thought process". "Congratulations to all!" he tweeted.

Over months of speculation about Tillerson's future, Haley had been rumored as one possible successor. "My view didn't change", Tillerson said at a hearing on the State Department's budget a few weeks later.

BRENNAN: So, the first meeting will be that presidential summit?

When asked point-blank about his reason for dismissing Tillerson, BBC reports that #President Trump attributed it to a lack of "personal chemistry", telling reporters that "We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things".

On Sunday's "Face the Nation", Pompeo skirted questions about whether Tillerson would lead those talks.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday afternoon said he was handing over all duties and responsibilities at the end of the day to the deputy Secretary of State, and that his service will terminate at midnight at the end of March. The White House had declined to criticize Russian Federation specifically over the attack Monday.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

"We wish Secretary-Designate Pompeo well", added Goldstein.

Journalists travelling home from Africa with Mr Tillerson said there was "zero indication" he knew his departure was imminent, and state department officials confirmed to USA media that he had not spoken with Mr Trump before the announcement. "He will do a fantastic job!"

"I close by thanking all for the privilege of serving beside you for the last 14 months", he said.

Haspel's leading role in the program was first spotlighted a year ago after she was named as the CIA's deputy director. Mr Tillerson was undercut by Mr Trump, who called Qatar "a funder of terrorism at a very high level".

Tillerson cut short his diplomatic trip to Africa, returning to Washington, DC, on Monday. Paid $27.3 million previous year, Tillerson has accumulated roughly $160 million in Exxon stock along with $149 million of unvested stock options, according a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.