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Trump Names CIA Director Mike Pompeo Secretary of State in Sudden Move

With Rex Tillerson gone, Gina Haspel is poised to become the first female director of the CIA.

Caitlyn Morral

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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:

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.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Catilyn is a student at St. Bonaventure University in New York. She's a writer and Digital Producer for CMN.

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