Donald Trump sacks Rex Tillerson as US secretary of state


Donald Trump sacked Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state on Tuesday, making the US』s top diplomat the latest casualty of a White House that has been in near-constant, open conflict with some of the president』s most senior aides.

唐納德•特朗普(Donald Trump)周二解除了雷克斯•蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)的國務卿職務,使這位美國最高外交官成為白宮的最新受害者。特朗普與他的一些最高級助手之間幾乎不斷而公開地發生衝突。

Mr Trump immediately named Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, as Mr Tillerson』s replacement, swapping a soft-spoken former ExxonMobil chief executive with a former Republican congressman with a far more hawkish foreign policy record.

特朗普同時提名中央情報局(CIA)局長邁克•蓬佩奧(Mike Pompeo)接替蒂勒森,也就是說,國務卿由說話溫和的埃克森美孚(ExxonMobil)前首席執行官換成一位在外交政策上鷹派色彩濃厚得多的共和黨前眾議員。

「We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,」 Mr Trump said in an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn. 「We were not really thinking the same; with Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process . . . I think Rex will be much happier now.」


The president has repeatedly clashed with Mr Tillerson over most major foreign policy issues, with Mr Tillerson urging a more diplomatic approach to Iran and North Korea than his bellicose boss.

The ousting, which Mr Trump acknowledged was done without speaking directly to Mr Tillerson, also came just hours after the secretary of state outspokenly supported the British government』s case that Moscow was behind the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy — something the White House had failed to do.


But administration officials said the removal of Mr Tillerson was prompted by the decision to hold direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a move that Mr Trump made without consulting the secretary of state.


「The president wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations,」 a senior White House official said.

但特朗普政府官員表示,解除蒂勒森職務是因總統決定與朝鮮領導人金正恩(Kim Jong Un)直接會談而觸發的;特朗普沒有徵求國務卿的意見就拍板舉行美朝峰會。

Mr Tillerson said he would immediately delegate his responsibilities to his number two, John Sullivan, and step down permanently at the end of the month.


「Nothing is possible without allies and partners,」 he said in a speech that did not thank Mr Trump but instead underlined successes in several areas where the two had diverged, including North Korea and South Asian policy. He also questioned America』s future relations with China.

蒂勒森表示,他會立即將自己的職責移交給國務院二號人物約翰•沙利文(John Sullivan),並在本月底永久卸任。

Mr Tillerson』s departure adds to the churn at the highest ranks in the Trump administration, coming less than a week after Gary Cohn resigned as the president』s chief economic adviser after losing a battle over Mr Trump』s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.


Although Mr Trump had openly contradicted Mr Tillerson on major foreign policy issues, the secretary of state was not unique; the president has urged the resignation of his attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, and both his interior and housing secretaries are battling with White House staff.

蒂勒森的離職加劇了特朗普政府最高層的洗牌行動,不到一周前,加里•科恩(Gary Cohn)辭去總統首席經濟顧問職務,因為他未能勸阻特朗普做出對鋼鐵和鋁進口徵收關稅的決定。

The departure also came in a messy way that has come to characterise personnel moves in the Trump administration. The state department issued a statement saying that Mr Tillerson had 「every intention of staying」 in his post but was caught unawares by Mr Trump』s announcement, which came in a Twitter post. 

儘管特朗普在重大外交政策問題上公開發表與蒂勒森抵觸的言論,但國務卿的遭遇並非唯一;總統也曾敦促司法部長傑夫•塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)辭職,而內政部長和住房部長也都與白宮工作人員不和。

「The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason,」 said Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, who had sought to boost Mr Tillerson』s public profile. Mr Goldstein was sacked later in the day.


The president said that, while the two men got along personally, he had several areas of disagreement with Mr Tillerson. 「When you look at the Iran deal, I think it』s terrible, I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently,」 Mr Trump said. 

「國務卿未曾和總統交談,也不知道原因,」美國國務院負責公共外交事務的副國務卿史蒂夫•戈德斯坦(Steve Goldstein)表示;此前他曾試圖提升蒂勒森的公共形象。戈德斯坦當日晚些時候也被解職。

Mr Trump said he was confident that Mr Pompeo was 「the right person for the job at this critical juncture」, adding that as secretary of state, he would strengthen alliances, confront adversaries and seek the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.




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