Tillerson Out, Pompeo in as Secretary of State
The announcement came in unorthodox fashion, with the president delivering the news via Twitter. According to Tillerson’s spokesperson, Steve Goldstein – who served as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, but was also fired amidst the shake-up – said in a release issued before his firing that Tillerson “did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but…is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted.”
The White House maintained, according to Federal News Radio, “that Tillerson had been informed of the decision Friday, while he was in Ethiopia” and that “chief of staff John Kelly had called Tillerson on Friday and again on Saturday to warn him that Trump was about to take imminent action if he did not step aside.”
Trump’s choice to replace Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is “an engineer, lawyer, former Army officer,” according to USA Today, and previously served as the representative for Kansas’ 4th Congressional district. USA Today also notes that Pompeo attended Harvard Law School, graduated first in his class at West Point, and was confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate as CIA director back in January.
Both as CIA Director and as a former Congressman, Pompeo has been actively engaged in the United States’ ongoing dealings with both Iran and North Korea, a fact that is expected to be relevant in negotiations with both nations.
The CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, has been selected to replace Pompeo as he assumes his new role.
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