March 13-With a simple tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he is replacing his top diplomat with a former congressman and the current head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State, Trump posted on Twitter this morning. Meanwhile, he is appointing an intelligence officer named Gina Haspel, known for running a “black site” facility in Thailand for the U.S. government, as the new CIA director. Both Pompeo and Haspel would need to clear the Senate confirmation process to take office.
Pompeo is a former congressman from Kansas who served on the House intelligence and energy committees. A tea party affiliate, Pompeo is considered a hard-line Republican and Trump loyalist. Prior to serving in Congress, Pompeo was CEO at Thayer Aerospace. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Harvard University.
Pompeo had just appeared on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday to discuss North Korea. Asked who would lead talks with North Korea, Pompeo said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt about who will take the lead on this. The president of the United States will take the lead.”
Tillerson had just returned to the United States from a diplomatic trip to five nations in Africa. He was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the State Department budget.
In many ways, the cabinet shuffle is not surprising. Trump and Tillerson have been at odds for many months. In today’s Washington Post story, news reporters Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker assert that Trump views Tillerson as being “too establishment.”
by diplomacy, North Korea, U.S.