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Donald Trump ousts Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo is new secretary of state

Livemint logoLivemint 13-03-2018 Susan Heavey

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had replaced US secretary of state Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo, and had tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

The resignation represents the biggest shakeup of the Trump cabinet so far and had been expected since last October when reports surfaced about a falling out between Trump and Tillerson, 65, who left his position as chief executive of Exxon Mobil to join the administration.

“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State,” Trump said in a statement.

“As Director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the international intelligence community,” Trump said. “I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture. He will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

“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!” Trump said on Twitter.

Donald Trump ousts Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo is new secretary of state: Rex Tillerson has been replaced with CIA director Mike Pompeo. Photo: Reuters © LiveMint Rex Tillerson has been replaced with CIA director Mike Pompeo. Photo: Reuters

US stock index futures pared their gains and the dollar also trimmed gains versus the yen while extending losses versus the euro amid the news.

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state’s comments about Russia appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.

Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet with North Korea’s leader and become the first sitting US president to do so.

(Bloomberg contributed to this story)

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