Less than a month after Donald Trump’s communication director Hope Hicks resigned from her post, the White House is set to see yet another exit. In the latest development, the US President has fired secretary of state Rex Tillerson. As per media reports, Rex will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The development comes amidst the probe over Russian meddling in the American Presidential Election of 2016.
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 also announced the appointment of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency — the first woman selected for the agency’s top post. “Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” he tweeted.
Trump also had words of praise for Tillerson: “Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well.”
Notably, Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump’s announcement. President Trump offered no explanation for the change. The exit of Tilerson is being seen as a shake-up in the national security by the US media. The outgoing diplomat’s last act in office was a shot across Vladimir Putin’s bow as he slammed Russia as an ‘irresponsible force of instability in the world’. Media reports claim that Rex Tilerson had been maintaining tense relationship with Trump. Tilerson had, as per reports, called the President a ‘moron’.
In a similar shocking announcement, Trump, had last year, fired chief strategist and his confidant Steve Bannon. Bannon had become a formal adviser to then-candidate Trump on August 17, 2016.
Earlier, Hope Hicks announced her resignation a day after she denied any connections with the Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign while testifying before the House Intelligence Committee led by special counsel Robert Mueller.