“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!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump asked Tillerson to step aside Friday, a senior White House official told ABC News today. Trump wanted to make sure he had in team in place before the recently announced talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the official said.
Trump believes he works well with Pompeo and the decision to replace Tillerson was not based on any single issue, the official said.
Tillerson and Trump have had tumultuous points in their relationship in the past. One of the most public disputes came in July amid reports that Tillerson called the president a “moron.”
Tillerson took over as head of the State Department in February. He is the second official to leave Trump’s Cabinet after former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in September over his use of private jets that were funded by taxpayer money.
Trump released a lengthy statement praising Pompeo and his successor, Gina Haspel, concluding with two sentences about Tillerson.
“I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
In his praise for Pompeo, Trump wrote, “I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture.”
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
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