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President Trump removes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replaces him with CIA head Pompeo

Posted at 8:46 AM, Mar 13, 2018

President Trump has removed Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State, replacing him with CIA head Mike Pompeo.

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel will replace Pompeo as the head 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!" President Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.


According to State Department undersecretary for public diplomacy Steve Goldstein, Tillerson had every intention of remaining with the administration and was not told why he was fired.



"The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers he's worked with throughout the world. The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason. "

Trump told reporters said he did not speak with Tillerson "much" before making the decision. He said he made the decision on his own beforing boarding Marine One.

"I've gotten along well with Mike Pompeo, and frankly get along well with Rex," Trump said. He added he thinks Tillerson will be much happier.

The move comes less than a week after the Trump administration agreed to a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump and Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobile, have reportedly been at odds for months. In October, NBC reported that Tillerson called the president a "moron" following a meeting in July. Tillerson was also often out of step with Trump on foreign policy, most notably with issues involving North Korea.

Tillerson is the latest high-ranking official in the Trump administration to resign. Last week, Trump's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn resigned after the president announced he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Tillerson and Cohn join the ranks of chief of staff Reince Priebus, former communications directors Hope Hicks, Anthony Scaramucci and Mike Dubke, press secretary Sean Spicer, staff secretary Rob Porter, HHS director Tom Price, deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, chief strategist Steve Bannon, FBI director James Comey, national security advisor Mike Flynn and many other high-ranking officials that have resigned or been fired.

More on this as it develops.