Early this morning, the president announced via Twitter that Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, would replace Secretary Rex Tillerson at the State Department. Steve Goldstein, a State Department official, told CNN that Tillerson found out via tweet this morning.
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
This is not the first time the president has publicly fired a high-ranking member of his administration without letting the individual know ahead of time. Last summer, former FBI director James Comey was made aware of his firing during a speech he was giving at the FBI field office in Los Angeles. TVs in the room ran the news as he was giving his speech.
The Secretary did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted.
We wish Secretary-Designate Pompeo well
— Steve Goldstein (@UnderSecPD) March 13, 2018
Before President Trump tapped him to lead the State Department, Rex Tillerson was the CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil for a little over a decade. His appointment was confirmed 53-46, with senators splitting mostly along party lines. His confirmation received the most opposition that any secretary of state has received in 50 years.
Prior to becoming the director of the CIA, Tillerson’s replacement Mike Pompeo was a Republican congressman representing Kansas. Pompeo has, in the past, publicly called for ripping up the Iran agreement and removing Kim Jong-un as the leader of North Korea.
Gina Haspel, who will be replacing Pompeo as director of the CIA, is a longtime veteran of the agency. She oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects at a CIA overseas detention site she ran in Thailand and later participated in the destruction of video tapes of that torture. Haspel has been deputy director of the CIA since February.
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