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Tillerson Finds Out Through Twitter That He's Being Canned as Secretary of State

The State Department says Tillerson wasn't given a reason for his ouster, but that he was "grateful" for his time in office.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. President Donald Trump listen as Republicans take turns speaking to the media at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump informed the public—and, apparently, Rex Tillerson—in a tweet on Tuesday that CIA director and climate denier Mike Pompeo will soon be America's new secretary of state.

According to a State Department spokesman, Tillerson—who reportedly called the president a "fucking moron" last year—found out he had been fired from Trump's tweet, and was not given a reason for his dismissal.

"The secretary did not speak to the president," Steve Goldstein, State Department undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said in statement, "but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve."

One White House official told CNN that Trump ordered chief of staff John Kelly to call Tillerson last Friday to tell him he was going to be replaced, but the timing of his ouster was not specified.

"This is how the president wanted to do it," the official said, referring to Trump's preference for firing members of his team through Twitter rather than in person.

Pompeo will have to be confirmed by the Senate before he can take Tillerson's spot.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump offered a vague explanation for Tillerson's ouster.

"We disagreed on things," Trump said. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess he [unintelligible] it was okay," Trump said. "So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it's going to go very well."

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