President Donald Trump bid a swift farewell to Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, telling reporters that his now-former secretary of state would be “much happier” after he was fired from the administration.
The president insisted that he had a good relationship with Tillerson but said that he wanted someone more in tune with his thinking on foreign policy.
“I wish Rex a lot of good things,” Trump said. “I think he’s going to be very happy. I think Rex will be much happier now, but I really appreciate his service.”
Tillerson was an outsider candidate as secretary of state when he was selected by Trump.
At the time, Trump appreciated the Exxon-Mobil CEO for his outsider business experience that he could bring to the role. But it soon became clear that Tillerson shared sharp differences with Trump’s views on foreign policy.
Trump cited policy differences such as the Iran deal as one of the reasons why Tillerson was asked to leave.
But Tillerson’s performance in the job was ridiculed by observers of the State Department and around the world as he was routinely criticized by Trump. Tillerson also worked with senior Republicans to contain Trump in some cases, according to Republican sources in Congress.