President Trump announced on Tuesday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is being removed from his post.
Trump made the announcement over social media, adding that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be the new Secretary of State.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” Trump tweeted. “He will do a fantastic job!”
Mike Pompeo will do a great job as Secretary of State. He’s smart, tough, and works his tail off. Congrats to Mike and hats off to @POTUS for making an excellent choice!
— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) March 13, 2018
I served alongside Mike Pompeo in the House and have confidence in his ability to lead the @StateDept. I look forward to working with him in his new role.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) March 13, 2018
“Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” the President also tweeted, before naming Pompeo’s replacement in the CIA. “Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”
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
“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,” Fox News reports Pompeo said in a statement to the White House. “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.”
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) March 13, 2018
Haspel, who served as the CIA Deputy Director under Pompeo, also said in a statement, “I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2018
MORE: Pres. Trump thanks Rex Tillerson for service following announcement of his replacement: “A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months.” https://t.co/IDIzGdq1ah pic.twitter.com/k61M0NJfIW
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 13, 2018
Reuters reports why the shakeup may have occurred:
Trump publicly undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state’s comments about Russia appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.
Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet with North Korea’s leader and become the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
NPR similarly reports:
Trump and Tillerson are described as talking often, though Trump has frequently appeared to catch the top diplomat off guard on major foreign policy decisions.
A White House official says the president wanted to have a new team in place in advance of upcoming talks with North Korea and ongoing trade negotiations.
Tillerson, who was traveling in Africa last week, was caught flat footed the surprise announcement came that Trump had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Just a day earlier, he’d told reporters that negotiations were a long way off.
#BREAKING: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out — @realDonaldTrump announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement, while also tapping Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel as the new leader of the agency. She will be the first female director.
— One America News (@OANN) March 13, 2018