After President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, plenty of political analysts and members of Congress had something to say about the high-profile shakeup in the State Department.
Opinions of Tillerson's ouster and his job as secretary of state ranged from praise to intense criticism.
“Our country was able to call upon the unique talents of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and our national security was enhanced through his service,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tillerson “should be proud of his tenure” and thanked him for his work in the State Department. Graham also praised the decision to nominate Pompeo for the position:
I very much appreciate Secretary Tillerson’s service to our nation as Secretary of State.
His efforts to reorganize and streamline the State Department – bringing its policies and practices into the 21st Century – should continue.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 13, 2018
Others weren't so enthused about Tillerson's job as the nation's top diplomat and were happy to see him go:
On one side, he was surely the worst Secretary of State since William Jennings Bryan. On the other, he was surely fired not for his failings but for his occasional lapses into principle https://t.co/jmzrGudr3Q
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 13, 2018
Some also voiced their suspicions that Tillerson's tough stand on Russia was behind President Trump's decision to get rid of him:
Yesterday, Secretary Tillerson criticized Russia.
This morning, he was fired.
So again, it’s fair to ask, what does Vladimir Putin have on @realDonaldTrump?
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) March 13, 2018
Congressional leaders decried what many have seen as chaos in the White House, questioning the timing of Tillerson's ouster and expressing hope that Pompeo can bring stability to the State Department:
Why would President Trump fire his Secretary of State at such a grave moment? He's about to meet with North Korea, the Russian threat continues to pervade the globe, and key ambassadorships go empty. Chaos at the top may make for good reality TV but it's dangerous foreign policy.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) March 13, 2018
The instability of this administration in just about every area weakens America.
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.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 13, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wasn't too optimistic about Pompeo's prospects in the position, arguing that “his credibility will be diminished as someone who could be here today and gone tomorrow.”
And Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called Trump “the Commander-in-Chaos” after the move, the latest in a string of White House departures.
Despite all the ruckus over Tillerson's ouster, many members of Congress praised Pompeo's credentials and showed their support for his confirmation to the position:
Mike Pompeo is an excellent choice to lead the State Department and represent the United States around the world. He understands very clearly the international challenges and the opportunities before America in the 21st Century.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 13, 2018
Director Mike Pompeo was #1 in his class at West Point, an exceptional CIA Director & Member of the House and a good friend who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. There is great potential for Mike to be one of the greatest Secretaries of State in American history!
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) March 13, 2018
But of course, not everyone liked the choice of Pompeo, with some accusing him of failing to faithfully consider the Russia investigation and slamming him on his positions on torture and other issues:
I served in the House with Mike Pompeo and I can think of few people more ill-suited to be Secretary of State. He has opposed international engagement, undermined the Iran nuclear agreement & advocated for torture. https://t.co/FuuCu5upeK
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) March 13, 2018
Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) opposed both Pompeo's nomination and his replacement as CIA director, Gina Haspel, who would be the first woman to serve in the position.
“Before and after his confirmation as CIA director, Mike Pompeo has demonstrated a casual relationship to truth and principle,” Wyden said. “He has downplayed Russia's attack on our democracy, at times contradicting the Intelligence Community he is supposed to lead.”
As proceedings begin to confirm Trump's picks to fill the suddenly vacant positions, and regardless of where politicians stand on the news, many are just hoping for an end to the stream of departures at the White House.