Mar 13, 2018

Tillerson speaks for the first time since being fired by Trump

Rex Tillerson. Photo: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a press conference on Tuesday that he "received a call today from the President of the United States a little after noon time." Trump tweeted about Tillerson's dismissal at 8:44am. In closing, Tillerson said he thanked the "300 plus million Americans...for your devotion to a free and open society, to acts of kindness toward one another, to honesty." He took no questions.

Catch up quick: Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would replace Tillerson. The State Department issued a statement shortly after that said Tillerson was unaware of the reason he was fired. Trump said he made the decision by himself.

Parting words:

  • On North Korea: Tillerson said the department “exceeded expectations” with the maximum pressure campaign on North Korea.
  • "While progress has been made, much work remains," citing the situation in Syria and with respect to achieving peace and seeing a "healthy government installed," as well as ousting ISIS.
  • On Russia: "Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation."
  • "I close by thanking all for the privilege of serving beside you for the last 14 months."
  • "I'm proud of the opportunity I've had to serve my country. God bless all of you. God bless the American people. God bless America."

Tillerson will delegate his responsibilities to his deputy, and his final official day will be March 31st.

Go deeper:

  1. The long road to Tillerson's ouster
  2. Where they have disagreed before
  3. The conflicting reports of how Tillerson learned he was fired
  4. Pompeo's foreign policy
  5. Meet Pompeo's replacement at the CIA

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,595,350 — Total deaths: 95,455 — Total recoveries: 353,975Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 461,437 — Total deaths: 16,478 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  6. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  7. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  8. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air this weekend with a remotely produced episode.
  9. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The view from the other side of the coronavirus peak

We'll soon be crowding into cafes it's 1954 in Rapallo, Italy. Photo: LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

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