Sacked Tillerson Issues Russia Warning

Rex Tillerson has been sacked as Secretary of State of the United States.

Following the sacking of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he has now highlighted his concern about Russia's increasing isolation from the international community and warned of its "troubling behaviour and actions".

Mr Tillerson gave a news conference after learning on Twitter he had been fired by President Donald Trump.

He will be replaced by Mike Pompeo, who was the Director of the CIA.

Rex Tillerson had earlier said the poisoning of an ex-spy in the UK "clearly came from Russia," and vowed it "will trigger a response".

Trump has nominated Gina Haspel to become the new director of the CIA; she would be the first woman in the role. 

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

A White House official said Mr Trump wanted to have a new team in place before upcoming talks with North Korea and various trade negotiations.

There had been rumours throughout most of Mr Tillerson's tenure of friction between Mr Trump and his secretary of state, a former ExxonMobile chief executive.

In October, NBC news reported that Mr Tillerson called the president a "moron," something he never actually denied.

Mr Tillerson continued to insist his relationship with the president was solid and brushed off rumours of strain between them.

He was due to retire from Exxon in March 2017 aged 65 under the company's mandatory retirement policy.

Mr Tillerson was paid 27.3 million dollars (£19.5 million) last year, and has accumulated roughly 160 million dollars (£115 million) in Exxon stock along with 149 million dollars (£107 million) of unvested stock options.

A statement from the President released by the White House reads: 

"I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State.

"Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.

"As Director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the international intelligence community.

"I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture.

"He will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"His experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the CIA have prepared him well for his new role and I urge his swift confirmation.

"Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone.

"Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.

"Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well.”