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13.03.2018 17:58 News >> Update - Trump Names CIA's Chief Pompeo As Secretary Of State

Update - Trump Names CIA's Chief Pompeo As Secretary Of State

Rex Tillerson's ouster follows a number of high profile clashes with the White House.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his pick to be the country's new Secretary of State, ousting 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!," Trump said in a tweet.

As with all Cabinet positions, Pompeo will need to be confirmed by the Senate to assume his post at the helm of the State Department.

Trump also said Gina Haspel, who was appointed Deputy Director of the CIA in February 2017, will be his choice to lead the CIA. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead America's premier spy agency.

It is unclear how quickly the Senate will move on the nominations, already facing a long backlog of confirmations.

The White House and State Department have had a number of high-profile clashes after Tillerson took the post as American's top diplomat, including a glaring split during a row between Qatar and its Arab Gulf neighbors.

Trump and Tillerson have also been at odds over the nuclear deal with Iran, which he cited shortly after making his announcement on Twitter.

"We disagreed on things," Trump told reporters before departing the White House for California. "When you look at the Iran deal; I think it's terrible, I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently.

"So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it's going to go very well," he added. "We're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want."

Tillerson was long rumored to be on the outs with Trump, but he adamantly insisted throughout his tenure he would continue to serve at the pleasure of the president. That time has come to an abrupt end.

The top diplomat cut short a trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington after reportedly being asked to resign Friday by Trump.

Tillerson is unaware of why he was fired, and did not speak to the president Tuesday morning, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs Steve Goldstein confirmed in a statement.

Tillerson "had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues", Goldstein said.

"He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and enjoyed working together with the Department of Defense in an uncommonly robust relationship," Goldstein added.

Pompeo in a statement described his time at the CIA as "one of the great honors of my life.

"I am proud of the work we have done on behalf of America and know that the Agency will continue to thrive under the leadership of Gina Haspel," Pompeo said in a statement circulated by the White House.

Haspel separately added she is "humbled" by Trump's confidence in her.

"If confirmed, I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office," she said. -



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