Outgoing US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. (File Photo)
Washington, March 13 (RHC)-- US President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that current CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, would become secretary of state, replacing Rex Tillerson.
Trump said he would replace Pompeo with Gina Haspel, recently appointed as deputy of the agency. She would be the first woman to head the intelligence agency ever.
The president announced his decision via Twitter.
According to a senior administration official quoted by the New York Times, Trump made the decision to replace Tillerson now to have a new team in place before upcoming talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in May and for various ongoing trade negotiations.
Both appointments need confirmation by the Senate.
Pompeo, a former republican congressman from Kansas State, was nominated by Trump for the CIA post in January 2017.
Media outlets say he has become a favorite of the president, impressing him with his engaging approach during morning intelligence briefings
Tillerson had been at odds with the president and at some point of his tenure NBC news reported that he had call the president a “moron”. Tillerson´s distance from Trump´s inner circle became clearer last week when the president accepted an invitation to meet with the North Korean leader, to the surprise of Tillerson who was travelling in Africa at the time.
According to US media, the proposed director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, is a career spymaster who once ran a CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded — the form of torture that US President Donald Trump has supported.
With his departure, Tillerson joins a long list of Trump administration appointees who have left or been fired during the first year of his administration, including the president’s first national security adviser, chief of staff, chief strategist, press secretary and secretary of health and human services.
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