Rex Tillerson out at State, to be replaced by CIA chief Mike Pompeo

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday and said he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, in a major staff reshuffle just as Trump dives into high-stakes talks with North Korea. Trump announced the change in a tweet early Tuesday just four hours after Tillerson returned to Washington from a trip to Africa. Word of Trump’s dissatisfaction with Tillerson and plans to replace him had circulated for months, even as Tillerson insisted he didn’t plan to leave. “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” Trump tweeted. “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!” Trump said that the CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, would take over for Pompeo at the intelligence agency. If confirmed, Haspel would be the CIA’s first female director. Rumors about friction between Trump and Tillerson were circulating last year. In October, NBC news reported that Tillerson called the president a “moron,” something Tillerson never actually denied. Tillerson continued to insist his relationship with the president was solid and brushed off rumors of strain between them. Two officials familiar with the situation said that Tillerson had been fired by Trump on Friday, while in Africa. There were no obvious indications as Tillerson flew home early Tuesday from Nigeria that his departure was imminent, nor that it was… [Read full story]

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