Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Twitter after returning from an Africa trip in which he was out of the loop on North Korean talks and contradicted the White House position on Russia's responsibility for poisoning a British spy.

In other words, his last week on the job was just like any other.

In his 14-month tenure as the nation's top diplomat, Tillerson often found himself trying to interpret President Trump's mercurial and contradictory foreign policy to the rest of the world.

He reassured NATO allies that the United States remained committed to the alliance even after the president threatened to pull out over "dues" that Trump believed were owed directly to the United States. (They weren't.)

He tried to salvage the Iran nuclear deal through a European-brokered fix to the Obama-era agreement, rather than having Trump scuttle the deal completely.

Trump specifically cited differences over the Iran deal Tuesday. "I thought it was terrible, I guess, he feels it was OK."

Now, Trump is heading into an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with North Korea'sKim Jong Un over that country's nuclear program. The timing of the move was designed to allow Trump to put a new team in place in advance of those talks, said a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a personnel decision.

Trump conceded Tuesday that he and Tillerson often were not on the same page. "I actually got along well with Rex, but really it was a different mindset, it was a different thinking."

It was telling that the White House announced the personnel moves through an increasingly common playbook: A leak, a tweet and written statements from those involved. In this case: Trump, Pompeo and new CIA nominee Gina Haspel.

Conspicuously missing: A statement from Tillerson himself.

Instead, Tillerson's side of the story came later from Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy.

"The secretary had every intention of staying because of critical progress made in national security," he said. "The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason."