ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would replace the outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he respected Tillerson’s “intellect” and that he thinks “Rex will be much happier now.”
In a tweet following his decision, Trump revealed that Pompeo would replace Tillerson and Gina Haspel would become the new Director of the CIA, the first woman to be nominated for that role.
“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!” President Trump wrote.
“Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” He added.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
According to White House press secretary speaker Sarah Sanders, the US President had asked Tillerson to resign from his position as Secretary of State.
“[Trump] thought it was the right time for the transition with the upcoming North Korea talks and various trade negotiations,” a senior administration official was quoted as saying by CNN.
The official added that Trump had asked Tillerson “to step aside” on Friday.
Tillerson’s relationship with Trump was hindered after the former Secretary of State called the US President a “moron.”
The US President told reporters at the White House that he “got along quite well” with Tillerson although he admitted they “disagreed on things.”
“When you look at the Iran [nuclear] deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was okay,” Trump said. “I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same.”
Tillerson’s sacking comes at a crucial time for the Trump administration as they prepare to meet with North Korean officials over their nuclear program at the end of May.