Donald Trump has sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from the White House. He has replaced him with CIA director Mike Pompeo.
The US President confirmed the news with an early morning tweet:
“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!”
The major White House shakeup comes amid delicate negotiations ahead of an agreed face-to-face meeting between the US President and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
Mr Trump asked Mr Tillerson to step aside last Friday, forcing him to cut short a trip to Africa and fly home from Nigeria, The Washington Post reported.
In a statement issued to the newspaper, Mr Trump praised Mr Pompeo and Ms Haspel.
“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 said in the
statement. “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.”
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