Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps Central Intelligence Agency director Pompeo

Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, taps Central Intelligence Agency director Pompeo

US President Donald Trump removed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. "He will do a fantastic job!" he tweeted.

Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State hours after Rex Tillerson backed the UK's claim that the Salisbury nerve agent attack was "highly likely" to have originated in Russian Federation.

Trump also announced that Gina Haspel would replace Pompeo as CIA director - making her the first woman to ever head the country's top spy agency. "Congratulations to all!" Trump said on Twitter.

It was the latest shake up in Trump's administration.

Trump reportedly made the decision last week, summoning Tillerson home from a trip to Africa.

Trump had not offered an explanation for the change at the time of the announcement.

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In a written statement that followed the tweet, Pompeo said that, if confirmed, "I look forward to guiding the world's finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President's foreign policy".

"As Director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the worldwide intelligence community", Trump said.

Tillerson is also deeply unpopular within the State Department for his imperious management style and disregard for the traditions of diplomacy, which has led to a steady level of attrition throughout his tenure.

Last Thursday, Tillerson said it would be premature for Trump to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency".

At one point past year, Tillerson reportedly called Trump "a moron" after a national security meeting.

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