Trump fires chief diplomat Tillerson after clashes, taps Pompeo

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

Rumors of Tillerson's ouster first started late past year, when reports that appeared to be targeted leaks from the White House emerged that Trump was souring on his secretary of state, following policy disputes and embarrassing leaks. If confirmed, she would become the CIA's first female director.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry".

'I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next director of the Central Intelligence agency, ' Haspel said.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was awful, he thought it was okay". "I thought it was bad, I guess, he feels it was OK". I wanted to break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently. I think it's going to go very well. "The relationship is very, very good, and that's what I need as secretary of state".

A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday but did not want to make it public while he was on a trip to Africa.

State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein echoed that sentiment in a statement to CBS News on Tuesday morning, saying, "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security".

There was frequent friction between the president and Mr. Tillerson.

Pompeo, however, will need to find a way to grapple with a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining Tillerson with Twitter posts, current and former US officials said. The timing of the move was created to allow Trump to put a new team in place in advance of those talks, said a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a personnel decision.

Tillerson faced opposition during his Senate confirmation process, with lawmakers expressing concerns over his lack of experience in government and diplomacy, and strong ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin from years of business in the country.

"I wish Rex Tillerson well", Trump continued.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks at the FDD National Security Summit in Washington, DC, U.S., October 19, 2017.

The departure of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state is not a shocking development.

Mr. Trump released a statement saying he was "proud" to nominate Pompeo to replace Tillerson. Now it's clear he had one move in particular in mind.

Trump designated White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director, but Cordray named a deputy director as his replacement, triggering a political and legal battle.

Mr Pompeo is a former hardline conservative Republican lawmaker from Kansas and a Trump loyalist.

Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he has selected Gina Haspel to replace Mike Pompeo. Things went steeply south when it was reported that Tillerson had called Trump a moron, a claim that the secretary of state did not directly refute.

Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.

In December Mr Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key USA demand that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.