Trump Replaces Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director
Just weeks before a critical meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, President Trump ousted his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and nominated Mike Pompeo in his place. Pompeo has been serving as head of the CIA. Trump said that Tillerson and he have been discussing the move for months, but media reports say Tillerson learned of his ouster by a tweet and really ‘doesn’t know why’ he was fired.
The President says he thinks Tillerson will be “much happier” now.
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
Since Rex Tillerson became Secretary of State, there have been rumors of friction between him and the President. On occasion, Tillerson said things that undercut the President’s foreign policy. As one friend put it, they were burning “opposite ends of the candle.” But the President hung in there and left him in place until now, when he needs inside knowledge more than business acumen in meeting Kim over denuclearization, and the frosty relations with Iran.
Pompeo has held similar beliefs to Trump over the Iran deal. Tillerson did not.
“We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible… So we were not really thinking the same.” President Trump
At one point, Tillerson was rumored to have said that Trump was a “moron.” Obviously that wouldn’t fly for very long. Calling your boss a moron in the media is a good way to get fired. Still Trump held on to him inspite of the disagreements. The media reported that Vice President Pence intervened to save Tillerson’s job, but whether that’s true or not is anyone’s guess. The divide was wide, and it was only a matter of time before something broke loose. The current situation with North Korea made a great excuse to remove him.
Pompeo would be an invaluable asset to the President as they go head to head with Kim, and his knowledge of Iran in working on the Iran deal. The President nominated Pompeo’s 2nd in command, Gina Haspel as the CIA Director replacement. She will be the first woman to serve as director of the CIA.