According to media reports President Trump asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to step down on Friday, prompting his early return from Africa. He is to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump tweeted this morning:
“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 also released a statement:
“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State,” Trump said. “Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.
“Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.”
While rumors have long circulated of disagreement and tension between Tillerson and Trump, no further explanations were forthcoming.
Gina Haspel has been named to replace Pompeo as the new CIA Director, the first woman to have that post. She was Deputy Director under Pompeo, they have worked closely together for over a year.
Author’s note: Its a shame to see Tillerson go, he was a very smart guy with a good understanding of how the world works and a massively impressive resume. Pompeo is much more a political beast, with a military, business and legal background.
Gina Haspel is an excellent choice for CIA Director, with an impressive operations background. According to her bio “Haspel ran a “black site” CIA prison located in Thailand in 2002. The site was codenamed ‘Cat’s Eye’ and held suspected al Qaeda members Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah for a time” This is a lady with guts, in the mold of Margaret Thatcher.