Early this morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he is replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State with Mike Pompeo. The tweet stated:
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) March 13, 2018
Trump’s relationship with Tillerson had become strained over recent months, especially when it came to making joint decisions.
Last October, Tillerson refused to comment on whether or not he had called Trump a “moron” during a Pentagon meeting over the summer. The then-Secretary of State never denied that he had said that, but instead came back at the interviewer with questions of his own.
There was speculation that they did not make the strongest pair as president and Secretary of State, either.
The most recent instance of this was Trump’s decision to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Tillerson did not agree with Trump’s decision to agree to the meeting.
According to a senior White House official, the underlying reason why Trump wanted to replace Tillerson with Pompeo as Secretary of State was so that he could have a new presidential team in place before proceeding with meetings between the United States and North Korea.
Another issue that the pair disagreed on was the Iran nuclear deal. In a statement given on Tillerson’s replacement early Tuesday morning, Trump said:
“Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal — I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something. And he felt a little bit differently. So we were not really thinking the same.”
Tillerson was on Trump’s team since he was nominated as a presidential candidate.
Pompeo also released a statement on his reaction to being Trump’s new choice for Secretary of State, saying:
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as Secretary of State. His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity.”
Haspel currently serves as the deputy director of the CIA. If her nomination is confirmed, she will be the first woman to be named as the director of the CIA.
New CIA director Gina Haspel:
– Joined agency in 1985
– Becomes 1st woman to hold the post
– Ran 'black site' prison in Thailand notorious for torturing detainees
– ‘Directly involved in controversial interrogation program’ https://t.co/mFveU3eiKf pic.twitter.com/B3Zri6gmWU
— RT (@RT_com) March 13, 2018
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