Trump Fires US Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, Replaces With CIA Director Mike Pompeo

| March 14 , 2018 , 14:21 IST

In a sudden announcement, soon after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday gave a stern statement regarding Russia, he was fired from his position by US President Donald Trump and replaced with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Gina Haspel, the deputy of Pompeo at the CIA (Central Investigation Agency), would now become CIA's first woman director.

US President Trump announced the shake-up in a tweet, which comes soon after the resignation of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on March 1, and Trump's top economic advisor Gary Cohn on March 7.

Making the announcement, Trump tweeted, "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!"

Apart from Tillerson, the Under-secretary of state Steve Goldstein was also fired.

“The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling,” said Goldstein in a statement.

Ironically, Tillerson had recently predicted that he would be staying in office for all of 2018 at least, and had a full programme of commitments before the sudden dismissal which was effective immediately.

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Trump admitted that he had gotten along well with Tillerson, but their mindsets differed whereas with Pompeo they have a similar thought process.

“I actually got on well with Rex but it was a different mindset,” said Trump, adding "With Mike, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.”

The president said: “I’ve worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good and that’s what I need as secretary of state. I wish Rex Tillerson well.”

Tillerson had recently issued a strong statement against Russia, alleging it to be responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the UK.

"From Ukraine to Syria - and now the UK - Russia continues to be, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens," said Tillerson in a statement.