President Trump fired Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State this morning.
The President announced via Twitter that CIA Director Mike Pompeo will take his place at the State Department.
This is a developing story, and will be updated as necessary.
Rex Tillerson, at first a controversial choice for Secretary of State, had become one of the most reliable and respected members of the Trump administration. However, he often butted heads with the President on foreign policy.
U.S. President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The biggest shakeup of Trump’s Cabinet since he took office in January 2017 was announced by the president on Twitter as his administration prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.
Trump tapped the CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo at the intelligence agency.
This morning, the President seemed to confirm reports that the two did not mesh well.
Tillerson’s departure caps months of friction between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive. The tensions peaked last fall amid reports Tillerson had called Trump a“moron” and considered resigning.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Trump said on the White House lawn on Tuesday.“We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things.”
He cited the Iran nuclear deal as an example of disagreements with Tillerson and said he and Pompeo have“a similar thought process.”
Senior State Department officials said Tillerson was unaware of why Trump pushed him out and that he had intended to stay in the job.
On Monday, Tillerson blamed Russia for the poisonings in England of a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had refrained from saying Moscow was responsible.
Here is the President’s tweet this morning about Rex Tillerson.
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