President Donald Trump terminated Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and named CIA Director Mike Pompeo as successor. He also appointed Pompeo’s deputy to become the CIA chief.
The President announced his decision in a tweet on Tuesday morning. He 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!”
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
Trump has total confidence in Pompeo
In a brief statement to reporters, Trump explained that he and Pompeo are “always on the same wavelength.” He added that they “have a very similar thought process,” and “a very good chemistry right from the beginning.”
“I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great Secretary of State. I have total confidence in him,” according to the President.
Furthermore, Trump said Tillerson is a “good man” and they “got along quite well. However, he emphasized that they “disagreed on things” such as the Iran deal. “We we’re not really thinking the same,” he said.
“I actually get along well with Rex but really it was a different mindset. It was a different thinking,” said Trump.
Trump did not speak with Tillerson about his decision
Moreover, the President told reporters that he did not spoke with Tillerson about his decision to fire him. He said, “Honestly, I made the decision by myself.”
Separately, the State Department released a statement indicating that Tillerson did not speak directly with the President about the issue.
Steve Goldstein, the agency’s Undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said Tillerson is “unaware of the reason” for his firing. He added that Tillerson “is grateful for the opportunity to serve and still believes that public service is a noble calling.”
Additionally, Goldstein said, “The secretary has every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security.”