While Tillerson remains in his position until the end of the month, he has delegated day-to day-responsibilities to Sullivan, who took over meetings at the State Department with the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers on Friday.
Principled liberty-minded Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has announced that he will oppose the nominations Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel, Trump's choice for Secretary of State and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Rep. Ron Estes, who replaced Pompeo in Congress, said in a statement, "With increasing threats abroad from a belligerent Russia and Islamist terrorism, it's vitally important that we have someone like Mike, who has extensive private sector and military experience, to serve as our top diplomat".
White House officials say that Trump is looking for a fresh approach to diplomacy and needed time to have the team he wants in place for any upcoming negotiations with the Kim Jong Un regime. "I believe the Chinese would be somewhat cautious, they'll wait and see what comes out of it", he said.
Trump nominated Pompeo and Haspel for the new jobs Tuesday, after abruptly firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. That alone made him an establishment figure, a "globalist", to use Trump's dismissive term for those who favor engagement with the world rather than a turning inward.
Ironically, one of Trump's most public clashes with Tillerson came when the president accused his top diplomat of "wasting his time" pursuing contacts with North Korea. And the question is, what was her part in that decision? Perhaps less diplomatically, the deputy speaker of Germany's parliament said the move showed the U.S. President to be "capricious and erratic".
Last October, Pompeo asserted that North Korea will have the capability to launch nuclear attacks on the U.S. mainland within six months.
"The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history", McCain said Tuesday.
Paul said Pompeo's hawkish worldview, his earlier support for the Iraq War, and enhanced torture in interrogation all disqualified him for the job. It would be only a matter of time before he'd be shown the door. Even Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat who led the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into the CIA interrogation program, suggested that she is willing to consider Haspel's nomination.
Miller said this rapport between a secretary and a president is something foreign leaders and negotiators pick up on instantly, and it makes a difference.
Beth Gilliland is a reporter for Wolf Tribune. This was another reason for the sacking.
Before leaving for Africa, Tillerson had issued specific direction on the two-plus-two dialogue, which for all practical purposes was scheduled for around mid-April (18 and 19) in Washington DC. "The relationship has been very good", he said.