Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of state, leading many establishment journalists to falsely claim that his recent comments on Russia allegedly poisoning a spy in the United Kingdom are responsible.
The Washington Post reported on Tillerson’s departure Tuesday morning.
Tillerson commented on Monday that Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy poisoned in the U.K. last week, appears to be “clearly” an act of the Kremlin.
Prime Minister Theresa May also accused Russia of being behind the act, saying, “Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get in the hands of others.”
This led many to claim that Tillerson was fired by Trump for blaming Russia for the poisoning.
Tillerson says Russia “clearly” involved in poisoning of former Russian spy in UK.
Trump fires Tillerson. #JustSaying
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 13, 2018
Tillerson committed the 1 unpardonable sin in Trump world: telling the truth about Russia. Pompeo won’t make same mistake. Having him as Secretary is the next worst thing to having Nunes (his former House colleague and friend). Confirmation hearings should & will be explosive.
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) March 13, 2018
Trump’s decision comes just hours after Tillerson broke with the White House to blame Russia for the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal in England https://t.co/6DTqTKFfYb
— Axios (@axios) March 13, 2018
Another sign of zero White House communications acumen-Tillerson canned the day after he takes tougher line on Russia than the White House and replaced by guy who took softer line on Russia than CIA – a line that was walked back by CIA but surely pleased POTUS.
— Nicolle Wallace (@NicolleDWallace) March 13, 2018
Tillerson last night: “I’ve become extremely concerned about Russia. We spent most of last year investing a lot into attempts to work together… And quite frankly, after a year, we didn’t get very far. Instead what we’ve seen is a pivot on their part to be more aggressive.”
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) March 13, 2018
Tillerson on Monday agrees with our greatest ally that use of a WMD in Britain was by Russia and that declares there will be consequences.
Then Trump fires him.
Sanctions remain unenforced, solely because Trump ignoring the law.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 13, 2018
We should not ignore that Trump fires Tillerson the day after he condemns Putin and Russia’s attack on the U.K.
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) March 13, 2018
Tillerson blames Russia for nerve gas attack last night. Fired this morning.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) March 13, 2018
Day after Rex Tillerson backs Britain’s tough response to Russia, he’s out as secretary of state, to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) March 13, 2018
However, it turns out that Tillerson was actually asked to leave last Friday, according to the Washington Post, meaning he was fired before his comment on Russia.
Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington https://t.co/KsGYdFzLlQ
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 13, 2018
The @washingtonpost suggests Tillerson was asked to leave on Friday – so he wasn’t fired *because* of his Russian comments, but he did make them knowing he was out the door
— Andy Silvester (@silvesterldn) March 13, 2018