President Donald Trump has replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The President made the announcement on Twitter shortly before 9 a.m. 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!” he wrote.
The President and Tillerson have had numerous differences of opinion in the close-to-fourteen months he has served under him. He tweeted once that Tillerson should stop “wasting his time” negotiating with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. The comment came after Tillerson had spent months exploring a possibility for negotiations with the isolated nation.
Tillerson has reportedly called the President a “moron” for wanting to have more nuclear weapons than any other President in history. When asked about the comment, Tillerson would repeat that he would not engage in what he called “the games of Washington,” but notably never directly denied calling the President that word.
Most recently, Tillerson has said that the poisoning of a Russian ex-patriot now living in Great Britain “clearly” came from Russia, though the White House took pains yesterday to avoid such a declarative statement.
A new Secretary of State nominee would need to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then referred to the Senate for a full vote on their appointment. Pompeo, a former Congressman from Kansas, should enjoy wide support from fellow Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, although Democrats could use any potential confirmation process criticize the conduct of foreign policy in the President’s administration.