14:42 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gestures during a interview with the Associated Press at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018

    Tillerson Says Often Pointed to Trump's Directives as 'Violating Law' - Reports

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    After weeks of media speculation on allegedly deep tensions between the former secretary of state and the president, Tillerson was fired by Trump in a straight-forward tweet in March, while then-CIA chief Mike Pompeo was appointed to assume the top diplomatic role instead.

    Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has come up with harsh comments on his time as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, his first since giving an address in May at the Virginia Military Institute, in which he deplored the nation's "growing crisis in ethics and integrity" and leaders who "conceal the truth".

    Tillerson told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer at an event in Houston on Wednesday night that he hadn’t met Trump before the day he was asked to become secretary of state, and went on to detail the feud the duo quickly fell into.

    "So often, the president would say, 'Here's what I want to do and here's how I want to do it,' and I would have to say to him: 'Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law'", Tillerson said, adding that in many cases, he had to remind the president of Congress, where they “could go back to get this law changed”.

    Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive of the oil giant Exxon Mobil, also noted that Trump acts on instinct, “that looks like impulsiveness, but it’s not his intent to act on impulse”, remarking that for him, a disciplined person, coming from a “highly process-oriented” corporation, it was a bit of a challenge to work with a for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things”.

    READ MORE: US Diplomats Reportedly Told Not to Retweet Ousted Aide on Tillerson's Firing

    Donald Trump fired Tillerson as the country’s top diplomat in a March tweet, replacing him with then-CIA chief Mike Pompeo. Tillerson’s ouster came months after he reportedly billed the president “a moron”, which is something the former secretary of state publicly denied.

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    Tags:
    secretary of state, firing, government, tensions, position, Mike Pompeo, Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump, US
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