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Rex Tillerson Out As Secretary Of State; CIA Director Mike Pompeo To Fill Role

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Rex Tillerson Out As Secretary Of State; CIA Director Mike Pompeo To Fill Role
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The list of notable departures from the White House grew Tuesday after President Donald Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as first reported by The Washington Post.

What Happened

Trump asked Tillerson to resign from his post last week. CIA Director Mike Pompeo will assume the title of Secretary of State and Gina Haspel, the deputy director of the CIA, will become the first woman to lead the spy agency in its history.

"I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service," Trump was quoted as saying in a statement. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well."

Why It's Important

Trump, according to The Post, believes the former ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) CEO was "too establishment" in his thinking and a new diplomat with a background in running the CIA may be a prudent move. Specifically, the White House appears to be gearing up for direct talks with North Korea's regime and Pompeo may be better suited to advise the President compared to Tillerson.

"Mike [Pompeo] graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School," Trump said. "He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle."

On Monday, Tillerson said he agreed with Britain’s assessment that Russia was “likely responsible” for the poisoning in England of a Russian double agent and his daughter.

What's Next

It's not immediately clear what the next step for the White House would be or what changes in foreign policy will happen from the change which caught many off guard. According to AP's State Department correspondent Josh Lederman, there was "zero indication" early Tuesday morning that Tillerson's ouster "was imminent."

"The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve," said State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein.

Related Links:

Every Person In The White House Who's Been Fired Or Quit Since Trump Took Office

Scaramucci Discusses Trump, Tariffs, And Cohn's Departure

Photo credit: State Department, Public Domain

Posted-In: Donald TrumpNews Futures Politics Top Stories Markets Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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