It wasn't surprising that President Donald Trump fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, but it was "alarming" about how he did it, Sen. Chris Coons said Wednesday.
"What is surprising, disturbing, even alarming is the humiliating way in which this came about," the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"The timing, the process. It's striking that exactly at the moment that President Trump's Twitter rants, his bluster, his threatening against North Korea may have secured an important diplomatic opening which Rex Tillerson had urged him to take, he cast aside his top diplomat."
According to The Washington Post, Trump called for Tillerson to resign on Friday, while he was still overseas touring several African countries.
On Tuesday, the president tweeted that Tillerson had been removed and would be succeeded by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The action undermined the secretary of state's office, the State Department, and career foreign service officers, said Coons.
"This is an important moment in American history where we face clear threats from Russia, from North Korea, from Iran, from other countries and where we need our diplomats to be well supported, engaged and motivated," said Coons.
Further, it's not known if CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated to replace Tillerson, will be strong or if he'll "simply reinforce President Trump's worst impulses."
"Mike Pompeo has a reputation here on The Hill for being smart, being aggressive, also being partisan," said Coons.
The Senator also said he believes that when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Trump, the Iran nuclear deal will come under consideration.
"President Trump, as a candidate, promised to tear it up," he said. "He was prevented from doing so, talked out of doing so by his national security and foreign policy team."
Most lawmakers agreed that the benefits of the Iran deal should be considered for now while work is going on to try to strengthen it, a stance Tillerson shared, said Coons. However, he added, it's not clear how Pompeo will act.
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