US President Donald Trump fired on Tuesday US State Secretary Rex Tillerson and announced replacing him with Mike Pompeo.
Trump thanked Rex Tillerson for his service and added that Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA as the first woman to assume this post.
of an increasingly frayed relationship between President Trump and Rex
Tillerson have fueled speculation that the secretary of State is on his way out.
The New York Times reported earlier that the White House had drafted a plan to replace Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, a former Republican congressman who now leads the CIA.
He adopts tougher stances on both Iran and North Korea, unlike the incumbent state secretary.
Department has suffered staff departures and low morale under Tillerson,
according to Tillerson.
who represented Kansas in Congress from 2011 until this year, has kept a
relatively low profile as leader of the CIA, occasionally making headlines for
remarks at think tank forums in Washington.
Opposing Iran deal
is known to be a stern critic of Iran and opposed the nuclear deal that was
brokered with the country during the Obama administration.
He wrote in a July 2016 op-ed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “virtually guaranteed that Iran will have the freedom to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons at the end of the commitment.”
Pompeo also proclaimed following Trump’s
election that he looked forward to rolling back the “disastrous deal.”
Far cry from Tillerson
has also spoken more forcefully on North Korea than Tillerson, who was
admonished by the president when he stressed the need for a diplomatic
resolution to stem Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted in early October. “Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!”
In July, Pompeo appeared to hint at the need for regime change in North Korea.
“It would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, to get those weapons off of that, but the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over them today,” he said during a moderated discussion at the Aspen Security Forum.
“So from the administration's perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two. Right? Separate capacity and someone who might well have intent and break those two apart,” he continued.
Earlier, Pompeo indicated that North Korea was months away from achieving nuclear capabilities that could strike the United States.
a former Army officer, is seen as one of Trump’s most trusted Cabinet members.
He travels from CIA headquarters in Virginia to the White House nearly every
day for a briefing with the president on national security, Politico reported
He is also said to have met, at Trump’s direction, with a former NSA official who co-authored an analysis that casts doubt on the conclusion that Russia was behind cyber intrusions targeting the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 presidential election.