European diplomats saw some chance Pompeo may have more influence over Trump than Tillerson, who antagonized the USA president by reportedly calling him a "moron" and who differed with Trump on Iran and other issues.
"I think on (the) one hand you can say it's not a good sign in terms of diplomacy, just because Pompeo seems a little bit more hard on North Korea than Tillerson", Sue Mi Terry, senior fellow for Korea at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the same forum. He declared Tuesday, "I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want".
Trump has pursued isolationist "America first" policies and was often at odds with Tillerson, who pushed for greater worldwide cooperation.
He pointedly declined to thank Trump personally or praise him, as he has done on previous occasions, but emphasised his strong relationship with Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. But Steve Goldstein, a State Department undersecretary of state for public affairs, said Tillerson did not know why he was being pushed out and had meant to stay.
He had emerged as a vocal critic on Russian Federation - for its role in the annexation of Crimea, support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and alleged meddling in the US election.
In fact, with Pompeo at the State Department, the odds of the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un even happening will likely decrease.
Trump sees three defects in the deal: its failure to address Iran's ballistic missile programme; the terms under which global inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and "sunset" clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear programme start to expire after 10 years.More news: A320neo grounding impact: Airfares shoot up as 65 flights cancelled
Tillerson's statement was seen as an important show of solidarity with Britain and a forceful rebuke of Russian Federation, which has been accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in order to help elect Donald Trump.
"When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's bad", the president said.
President Trump tweeted this morning that he's naming Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to replace him. "He will continue our program of restoring Americas standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Trump later said in a statement issued by the White House.
Trump announced the changes in a morning Twitter post and later told reporters more about why he removed Tillerson.
The White House says he resigned because he "felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team". He will do a fantastic job!
Tillerson joined a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Trump took office in January 2017. Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn and press secretary Sean Spicer. Tillerson had credibility problems because he publicly disagreed with Trump on several major issues.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono had been planning a trip to the United States later this week to hold talks with Tillerson about the latest developments in North Korea. "I think he'll rely more heavily on depth of experience across the department than Tillerson ever cared to". Trump never followed through on that plan. After a U.S. Navy sailor pleaded for an appeal of his national security felony conviction on Fox and Friends, Trump pardoned him days later.
Tillerson was not Trump's first choice as Secretary of State.