Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps CIA director Pompeo

Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps CIA director Pompeo

US President Donald Trump has ousted Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and said he will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. "He will do a fantastic job!" he tweeted.

The president also nominated Gina Haspel to become the first woman director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state's comments about Russian Federation appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.

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The rejig comes amid the turbulent human resource management at the White House, with four Trump aides deserting him in the past fortnight.

"I am confident (Pompeo) is the right person for the job at this critical juncture", Trump said in a statement.

In a statement issued to The Washington Post, Mr Trump praised both Mr Pompeo and Ms Haspel. "He will continue our program of restoring America's standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". The secretary has generally been cut out of the loop on major foreign policy moves, like Trump's impulsive decision to meet with Kim Jong-un.

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Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Steve Goldstein, said on Monday, March 12 that Tillerson would end his trip early to deal with work that needs to be attended to in Washington, D.C.

Some national security insiders, meanwhile, have mused during recent months that Mr. Pompeo might be a stronger fit for secretary of state because of his focus on the North Korea crisis.

More on this as it develops.

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