Donald Trump replaces US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo | Breaking News | DW

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” Trump wrote in a tweet, adding: “Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!”

What happened:

  • Tillerson cut a diplomatic trip to five African countries short by one nightand returned to the US early Tuesday morning. A senior White House official told Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity that Trump had asked Tillerson to step down on Friday.
  • Hours after Tillerson arrived back in the US, Trump published the announcement on Twitter that Tillerson would be replaced.
  • Trump later told reporters outside the White House he and Tillerson had disagreed on policy and been “talking about this for a long time.” He said Tillerson will be “much happier now.”

Read more: Rex Tillerson: Company man and Putin pal

Rex Tillerson’s troubled year: Tillerson, a 65-year-old former CEO and chairman of energy giant ExxonMobil, was sworn in as secretary of state shortly after Trump’s inauguration in mid-January 2017. Rumors had circulated in October that Trump and Tillerson had fallen out after Tillerson had reportedly called Trump a “moron.” Tillerson never denied making the statement. The president also publically contradicted Tillerson at multiple points during his time in office.

Read more: Rex Tillerson still leads State Department, White House says

USA Mike Pompeo (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. B. Ceneta)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo will take over the reigns at the State Department

Who is Mike Pompeo? Pompeo, a 54-year-old former Republican congressman from Kansas, is considered a hawkish figure among Trump’s foreign policy officials. He has called for scrapping the Iran nuclear deal and has downplayed Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

First woman as CIA boss: Trump also announced that Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel would replace Pompeo at the head of the CIA. Her appointment would make her the first woman to take over the post. Haspel is a career intelligence operative who joined the CIA in 1985.

amp/rc (Reuters, dpa, AFP, AP)