US President Donald Trump has thanked Rex Tillerson for his service and confirmed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo will become the new secretary of state.
President Trump tweeted that he was confident that Pompeo would do a “fantastic job” in his new post.
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 nominated intelligence officer Gina Haspel to replace Pompeo at the CIA. Trump appointed Haspel, a counterterrorism specialist, as the CIA’s deputy director in February 2017.
Trump chose Pompeo as his CIA director after coming into office in January 2017. Prior to that, the official served as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives’ select committee on intelligence, and the subcommittee on the CIA. Pompeo’s other duties in the Congress had mostly been limited to domestic affairs, including energy and the subcommittee on digital commerce and consumer protection.
Before Tuesday’s announcement, rumors circulated for several months that Secretary Tillerson was considering resignation.
A White House official has indicated that the cabinet shuffle was connected to Trump’s desire to shake up his team ahead of upcoming talks with North Korea.