It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming US secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal given that there is only one voice that counts in President Donald Trump's administration: his own.
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. Trump himself acknowledged Tuesday before boarding Air Force One for California that he and Tillerson had been discussing him leaving since the summer. Within hours of linking Russian Federation to the attack, Tillerson was ousted by President Trump.
"Mike Pompeo, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will become our new Secretary of State".
During a Fox News interview Sunday, Pompeo praised the president's "maximum pressure" campaign on North Korea for making the idea of a summit between Trump and Kim a possibility.
The former oil executive said he would remain at the department until March 31 to conclude an administrative handover, but that Deputy Secretary John Sullivan would take charge.
At the very beginning of his eight-minute speech, Tillerson said that he "received a call from the President of the United States a little after noontime". Pompeo was brought into the White House Friday after returning from an overseas trip and was offered the job formally by phone Saturday.
Trump did not personally call Tillerson to inform him of his termination. However, Goldstein's statement refuted that claim, stating that "the Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security". Hours later, he was sacked, too. Compare Tillerson's response to that of Pompeo. "And that was a total mystery because the people at the State Department would work for the devil if he is advancing American interests, which Mr. Tillerson was".
The President clarified his decisions in an official statement.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had developed a strong working relationship with Tillerson. His stance created another messaging problem for a White House that has often struggled to project a united front. That stance was echoed on Tuesday by the USA general who heads the US military command responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia.
Blessing said he believes the move also adds ammunition for the president's critics. Last week, top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, quit after Trump announced trade tariffs that would affect U.S. allies.
"Any officials negotiating with the Europeans right now will get a much more aggressive set of requirements from Pompeo", said Richard Nephew, a former White House and State Department official who worked on Iran during the Obama administration.
"Pompeo may be more effective at running State than his predecessor, but he is not prepared to manage the regional or global policy coordination needed to help the summit with Kim succeed", he said.