But his efforts were often overshadowed by Trump's decidedly un-diplomatic style and streams of taunting tweets that have stirred worldwide tensions.
The president is adding that Tillerson will be "much happier now", and he appreciates his service.
There were other clashes.
US President Donald Trump's decision to tap a hard-liner as his new secretary of state ahead of a historic US-North Korea summit hints at serious intentions for the talks, and the intention to tighten his grip over North Korea policy, experts say.
US Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, US, February 13, 2018. See Laura Figueroa Hernandez's story for Newsday.
A top State Department official says President Donald Trump never explained to ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the reason why he was sacked.
"Tillerson and the president have not meshed well, but at the same time I thought he did a lot for the president by providing an image of stability", Cyr said. A shaken Tillerson relinquished control of the State Department.
Cyr noted Alexander Haig, who served as secretary of state from January 1981 until July 1982 under President Ronald Reagan, resigned after a comparably short tenure in the position. President Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and he sets the foreign policy of the United States as the head of state. Getting fired on Twitter is and will remain a historic first.
Tillerson's sack came after a series of public rifts over issues, including North Korea and Russian Federation.
Haspel was deeply involved in post-9/11 counterterrorist operations.
Yet Haspel also had a front-row seat to the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects.
Haspel has been reported to have overseen a Central Intelligence Agency "black site" in Thailand where Al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded after the 9/11 attacks. On Tuesday, along with news of his firing, came word he has been hired by Trump's 2020 campaign as a senior adviser for operations. The order prompted a lengthy Justice Department investigation that ended without charges.
Trump signaled the shakeout isn't over.
"Well, I have spent some time with her, we've had dinner together, we have talked...everything I know is, is that she has been a good deputy director of the CIA", Feinstein said.
Further down the road, chief of staff John Kelly may move on.
But Lederman explains this is not the reason Trump fired him.