CNN's Tapper: Trump seems unable to fire people to their faces

CNN's Tapper: Trump seems unable to fire people to their faces

CNN anchor Jake Tapper took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE on Tuesday for reportedly firing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump rattles White House with Bolton shake-up Kellyanne Conway on White House departures: 'Get with the program or get out' Petraeus: Watch how Pompeo tackles lagging State Department appointments MORE without speaking face-to-face with the top diplomat.

"The man made famous for telling people 'you’re fired' doesn’t seem to be able to say to it directly to people’s faces," Tapper said on his show "The Lead."

Prior to becoming president, Trump had a reality TV series called "The Apprentice." His signature line as host was "You're fired," which he told contestants when they were kicked off the show.


Tapper's comment comes hours after the former Exxon CEO was ousted by the president via Twitter. In the same tweet, Trump named CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson's replacement.

"He would not deny that he once called President Trump his boss a moron," Tapper said on his show, referring to reports that Tillerson had once used the put-down to describe the president. "Now months later Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out and bets are being made on who might be next on the chopping block."

During his post-firing speech on Tuesday, Tillerson, 65, neither mentioned Trump by name nor thanked him.

“I received a call today from the president of the United States a little after noontime from Air Force One, and I’ve also spoken to White House chief of staff [John] Kelly to ensure we have clarity about the days ahead,” Tillerson said. "What is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges."

Tillerson's Under Secretary of State, Steve Goldstein, was also fired on Tuesday after contradicting the White House account of Trump's firing of Tillerson, saying the secretary of State was caught flat-footed by the announcement.

It was later announced on Tuesday that Heather Nauert, who had served as the State Department spokesperson, had been named as Goldstein's replacement.

Nauert is a former Fox News anchor and host.