U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had replaced U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA head Mike Pompeo, and has tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.
The resignation represents the biggest shakeup of the Trump cabinet so far and had been expected since last October, when reports surfaced about a falling out between Trump and Tillerson, 65, who left his position as chief executive of Exxon Mobil to join the administration.
Trump publicly undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when Tillerson’s comments about Russia appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.
Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and become the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump’s announcement. Trump offered no explanation for the change.
In a tweet Tuesday, Trump thanked Tillerson, and said Haspel will become the first woman director of the CIA.
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!