Trump pushes Tillerson out, taps Mike Pompeo for secretary of state
President Trump on Tuesday announced the ouster of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Trump asked Tillerson to resign Friday, The Washington Post reports, prompting Tillerson to cut short a scheduled trip to Africa to return to Washington, D.C.
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
Tillerson, a former CEO of ExxonMobil, had long been rumored to be on the outs, having been publicly undercut by the president on many policy issues, including North Korean denuclearization and Gulf State diplomacy. Most recently, Tillerson broke with Trump to echo Britain's claim that Russia poisoned a former spy, just hours after the White House had declined to pin blame on Moscow.
In a statement, Trump announced he is nominating Mike Pompeo, who is currently serving as the CIA director, to replace Tillerson, and will tap Pompeo's deputy Gina Haspel to lead the CIA. If confirmed, Haspel would be the first-ever female director of the spy agency.