clear
Thursday August 16th, 2018 2:17AM

The Latest: Schumer says White House chaos hurts America

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says President Trump's dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest example of White House chaos that is causing "huge problems" at home and abroad.

The New York Democrat says he's never seen a presidential administration "so disorganized, at war with one another."

Schumer told reporters he was disappointed in Tillerson and didn't think he was tough enough on Russia.

But he says, "what President Trump did, and the way he did it, once again indicates the chaos in this administration."

It's creating "huge problems in the world and here in America."

Senate Republicans want to quickly confirm Trump's pick of Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, to replace Tillerson. But Schumer said Democrats want to know if Pompeo will be tougher on Russia.

___

3 p.m.

The relationship between President Donald Trump and outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has always been strained.

Last November, Trump and his senior staff settled into a small private room in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during a break amid a full day of meetings with Chinese officials.

Their hosts then presented them with lunch: several plates of wilted Caesar salad.

None of the Americans moved to eat the unappetizing looking food. Trump, in the midst of a five-day Asia tour, looked over at the food, picked at some of the dreary lettuce and grew concerned that no one was eating it.

"Rex," the president said. "Eat the salad."

Tillerson declined, despite Trump's urging. The secretary of state then said he would prefer a cheeseburger.

—By Jonathan Lemire

___

2:45 p.m.

Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says his department "exceeded the expectations of almost everyone" on North Korea.

President Donald Trump, who fired Tillerson a few hours earlier, was claiming credit for agreeing to a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. But Tillerson suggested his own diplomatic work helped pave the way for that. He said on his watch, the U.S. won partners in an effort to use sanctions to force North Korea to scale back its nuclear program.

He said there was more to be done with regard to stabilizing Iraq, defeating Islamic militants, dealing with Russia and forging a way forward with China.

Tillerson added that "nothing is possible without allies and partners."

Trump fired Tillerson via tweet Tuesday morning, saying his replacement would be CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

__

2:16 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is delegating his responsibilities at the end of the workday Tuesday to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Speaking to reporters hours after being unceremoniously fired by President Donald Trump in a tweet, Tillerson says he will be formally stepping down from his post at the end of the month.

Tillerson is calling for an orderly transition to Mike Pompeo, the CIA director whom Trump has designated as Tillerson's successor pending confirmation by the Senate. He encouraged State Department employees to remain focused on their jobs.

__

1 p.m.

Now that Rex Tillerson and a key aide are out at the State Department, there are vacancies at the top of the department.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired Tillerson, and the White House sacked a top aide, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein. Goldstein had contradicted the official account of how Tillerson was notified of his termination.

The remaining top echelon of officials now consists of Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and the department's No. 3, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, who in January announced he would retire as soon as his successor is chosen.

Goldstein had been in his position for only three months and had angered the White House with previous comments about Trump. On Tuesday, he issued a statement in his name saying that Tillerson had not spoken with Trump and was "unaware of the reason" for his dismissal. He also told reporters that Tillerson had learned of Trump's decision with the president's tweet.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is expected to replace Goldstein at least temporarily, according to officials.

__

12:20 p.m.

Two U.S. officials say the White House has fired one of Rex Tillerson's top aides after he contradicted the official account of the secretary of state's dismissal by President Donald Trump.

The officials said Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was informed of the move shortly after he released a statement in his name saying that Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" for his termination. Goldstein had also told reporters that Tillerson learned of his firing Tuesday morning from Trump's tweet announcing he was nominating CIA chief Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about personnel moves. Goldstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

— Contributed by AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee

___

11:55 a.m.

German officials have expressed concern at the departure of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Michael Roth, a deputy foreign minister, posted Tuesday on Twitter: "The firing of Rex Tillerson won't make things better..."

Center-left lawmaker Thomas Oppermann described Tillerson as "a reliable, intelligent interlocutor" whose departure would be a "further setback for German-American relations."

Oppermann, who is deputy speaker of Parliament, said Trump's decision showed the U.S. president was "capricious and erratic."

___

10:35 a.m.

Sen. Bob Corker, the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, says President Donald Trump's decision to fire his chief diplomat caught him by surprise.

The Tennessee Republican, who has been Rex Tillerson's most vocal supporter on Capitol Hill, acknowledged "there's been tensions" between Tillerson and Trump.

But he says, it had seemed "that they had learned to work together a little bit better." Corker said he didn't know what precipitated the firing.

Trump announced Tuesday he is replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Corker says he doesn't know a great deal about Pompeo.

In early October, Corker had said that Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, are "those people that help separate our country from chaos."

On Tuesday, Corker said, "I have a lot of faith in Tillerson's judgment. I've shared that with the president many times."

__

10:10 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he hopes CIA Director Mike Pompeo will "turn over a new leaf" as secretary of state and toughen policies toward Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

Pompeo is President Donald Trump's pick to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Schumer says with the firing of Tillerson, "instability of this administration in just about every area weakens America."

Pompeo would need to be confirmed by the Senate. But Republicans have just a slim 51-seat majority, and confirmation is not certain.

Schumer says, "If he's confirmed, we hope that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin."

___

10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he and ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "disagreed on things."

Trump cites their divergent opinions on the Iran nuclear deal. Iran agreed before Trump took office to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. The president regularly criticizes the agreement as a bad deal and has repeatedly threatened to end it.

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."

Trump announced Tuesday that he has fired Tillerson and is replacing him with Mike Pompeo, currently the CIA director.

Trump says he and Pompeo have a "very, very similar thought process."

___

9:55 a.m.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is hailing Mike Pompeo as a "great decision" for next secretary of state.

Haley, who had her own contentious relationship with ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, congratulated Pompeo in a tweet and called him her "friend."

She wrote: "Great decision by the President."

Over months of speculation about Tillerson's future, Haley had been rumored as one possible successor.

___

9:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is telling reporters that he made the decision to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "by myself."

The president is adding that Tillerson will be "much happier now," and he appreciates his service. Trump says he and Tillerson had been "talking about this for a long time," and they had disagreed on issues like the Iran deal.

Trump is praising the energy and intellect of his incoming Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who has led the CIA.

The president spoke to reporters at the White House shortly before departing for Joint Base Andrews for his trip to California.

___

9:20 a.m.

A top State Department official says President Donald Trump never explained to ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the reason why he was fired.

The undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, Steve Goldstein, says Tillerson "had every intention of staying" in the job because he felt he was making critical progress in national security.

Two White House officials said Tillerson was told he was out on Friday. The sources weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

But Goldstein says Tillerson "did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason."

Goldstein says Tillerson will miss his colleagues at the State Department and the foreign ministers he worked with.

Trump named Mike Pompeo, who had been CIA director, as his new secretary.

Goldstein said, "We wish Secretary Pompeo well."

--Contributed by AP writers Zeke Miller, Matthew Lee and Ken Thomas

___

9 a.m.

Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of state. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he's naming CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson.

Pompeo is to be replaced at CIA by Gina Haspel, Pompeo's deputy at CIA. She would be the first woman in that role.

Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump's announcement. Trump offered no explanation for the change.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Travelers hard to find at Boston's Logan Airport
The terminals are mostly empty at Boston's Logan International Airport at the height of the winter storm, with security workers and cleaning crews outnumbering passengers
3:22PM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Schumer says White House chaos hurts America
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been fired, and Democrats are pointing to the latest White House departure as proof that the Trump administration is mired in its own chaos.
3:18PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Trump arrives in California amid protests over border wall
Protesters demonstrate outside the nation's busiest border crossing to mark Donald Trump's first visit to California as president
3:14PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Trump lands in San Diego to view wall prototypes
President Donald Trump has arrived in San Diego, where he'll be touring the prototypes for his stalled border wall
2:55PM ( 33 minutes ago )
AP: Pentagon often fails young sex assault victims on bases
AP Investigation: Pentagon doesn't know extent of sex assault among juveniles on military bases, has no specific personnel or protocols to help young victims or offenders
2:50PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Anti-wall crowd shouts at border crossing before Trump visit
Dozens of demonstrators protested President Donald Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall by shouting and holding signs at the busiest U.S. border crossing
2:50PM ( 38 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Russia won't answer UK ultimatum without samples
The Russian Embassy in London says Moscow won't respond to a British ultimatum unless it gets samples of the nerve agent used in the attack on a former spy and his daughter
1:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Germany's Merkel taking UK assessment seriously
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Russia must provide "quick answers to the legitimate questions posed by the British government" about the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter
1:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Key vacancies at the top at State Department
Now that Rex Tillerson and a key aide are out at the State Department, there are vacancies at the top of the department
1:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Palestinian prime minister escapes injury in Gaza bombing
A roadside bomb struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister during a rare visit to the Gaza Strip, causing no serious injuries but throwing an already troubled reconciliation process between rival factions into deeper turmoil
2:50PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Russia calls poisoning accusations by Britain 'nonsense'
Russia is dismissing accusations of any involvement in the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter as "nonsense"
2:48PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Berlin police accuse far right of trying to exploit killing
Berlin police say far-right extremists tried to stoke hatred against migrants by spreading false information about the killing of a teenage girl in the German capital last week
2:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Zinke defends hiking park fees amid travel spending flap
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bristles under questioning about his spending on travel as the Trump administration seeks deep cuts to conservation programs and fee increases at national parks.
3:10PM ( 17 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump lands in San Diego to view wall prototypes
President Donald Trump has arrived in San Diego, where he'll be touring the prototypes for his stalled border wall
2:55PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Stocks sink as technology rally fades; Qualcomm drops
U.S. stocks are falling as technology companies give up an early gain.
2:53PM ( 35 minutes ago )
The Latest: Other bus arrives at Texas school after crash
A bus carrying Texas students whose bandmates were involved in the wreck of another bus on Interstate 10 in Alabama has returned to a Houston-area high school
2:51PM ( 36 minutes ago )
AP: Pentagon often fails young sex assault victims on bases
AP Investigation: Pentagon doesn't know extent of sex assault among juveniles on military bases, has no specific personnel or protocols to help young victims or offenders
2:50PM ( 37 minutes ago )