Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump fires Tillerson, appoints Pompeo as US Secretary of State

Trump fires Tillerson, appoints Pompeo as US Secretary of State

President Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, announcing he plans to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Mike Pompeo, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will become our new Secretary of State. "He will do a fantastic job!" he tweeted.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels on December 6, 2017.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that Trump asked Tillerson to step aside. She would become the CIA's first female director.

"I am confident (Pompeo) is the right person for the job at this critical juncture", Trump said in a statement. "Congratulations to all!" Trump said on Twitter.

In a written statement that followed the tweet, Pompeo said that, if confirmed, "I look forward to guiding the world's finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President's foreign policy".

The decision ends a tumultuous tenure for Tillerson, who often seemed at odds with Trump or out of the loop altogether.

The breaking point appears to be Trump's surprise announcement last week that he was willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to CBS News.

Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Steve Goldstein, said on Monday, March 12 that Tillerson would end his trip early to deal with work that needs to be attended to in Washington, D.C.

Last October Mr Tillerson was forced to convene a news conference to deny reports that he was considering quitting, though he did not comment on a report that he had called his boss a moron after a meeting last July at the Pentagon.

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