Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CIA chief Pompeo set to replace him
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out of the White House after a series of disagreements with President Donald Trump.
Trump reportedly asked Tillerson to step down on Friday, confirming his replacement with CIA chief, Mike Pompeo via Twitter on Tuesday.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 March 2018
Tillerson and Trump had disagreed in public on numerous occasions, with the president having reportedly opted in November not to unequivocally back his Secretary of State after reports surfaced saying the White House was looking to replace him.
Three White House officials told the Washington Post that the president thought he needed to make changes now, as he prepares for a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
On 9 March, Tillerson was forced to cut short a diplomatic tour of various African nations in order to address urgent matters back in Washington DC.
Trump also confirmed on Twitter that Gina Haspel will fill in for Mike Pompeo as CIA chief once he takes up his role as Secretary of State, becoming the first female head of the spy agency.
In a statement issued to the Washington Post, he said was proud to nominate both Pompeo and Haspel to their new posts, while thanking Tillerson for his service.
"I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State. Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle," Trump said.
"Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect."