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Trump ordered Tillerson to eat salad during dinner in China: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE ordered Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington Turkey-Russia Idlib agreement: A lesson for the US MORE to eat a salad served to U.S. diplomats during a trip to China last year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Chinese leaders had reportedly included Caesar salad on the menu for a dinner with Trump, Tillerson and other top U.S. officials in November. The event was held in China's Great Hall of the People during Trump's tour of Asia.

Trump grew worried that the Chinese officials might be offended if the U.S. leaders didn’t eat the salad, the Journal reported.

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“Rex, eat the salad,” Trump told his top diplomat, according to the newspaper.

Tillerson reportedly laughed off the president’s comment.

The Journal cited the incident as an example of the sometimes tense relationship between Trump and Tillerson.

Trump ousted Tillerson as secretary of State in a tweet Tuesday morning, replacing him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE.

Under Secretary of State Steven Goldstein said that Tillerson did not talk to Trump ahead of his dismissal and that Tillerson was “unaware” of why he was fired, contradicting the White House's account of the firing.

The White House fired Goldstein later Tuesday.

Tillerson said Tuesday afternoon that his last day at the State Department would be March 31, and that he was delegating his duties to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at the end of Tuesday.

The outgoing top diplomat thanked State Department staffers in his remarks, but did not thank Trump.