President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of state, and he will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump and Tillerson have disagreed again and again since Trump took office, with Tillerson taking the moderate stance on issues from the Paris climate agreement to the Iran deal. Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! "Congratulations to all!" he tweeted. The move comes after the secretary of State asserted Monday night that Russian Federation "clearly" was responsible for the poisoning of a former British spy, a statement that went well beyond comments from the White House.
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Mr. Trump said Mr. Pompeo's "experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the Central Intelligence Agency have prepared him well for his new role and I urge his swift confirmation". "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", Pompeo said in a statement.
Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump's announcement.
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Trump also announced that Gina Haspel would replace Pompeo as CIA director - making her the first woman to ever head the country's top spy agency.
The rejig comes amid the turbulent human resource management at the White House, with four Trump aides deserting him in the past fortnight.
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At one point a year ago, Tillerson reportedly called Trump "a moron" after a national security meeting.