Trump Bumps Pompeo Up To State, Picks New CIA Director — REXIT

CIA Director Mike Pompeo listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington

CIA Director Mike Pompeo listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington

Donald Trump has fired US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo.

Mr Trump tweeted that Mr Pompeo, "will do a fantastic job!" and thanked Mr Tillerson for his service.

Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State hours after Rex Tillerson backed the UK's claim that the Salisbury nerve agent attack was "highly likely" to have originated in Russian Federation.

Trump said he is nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. "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".

A 30-year veteran of the CIA, Haspel said, "I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office".

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Trump's tweet Tuesday came the day after Tillerson blamed Russian Federation for an assassination in London - something the White House had specifically declined to do just hours before.

Trump and Tillerson have disagreed again and again since Trump took office, with Tillerson taking the moderate stance on issues from the Paris climate agreement to the Iran deal.

Trump had not offered an explanation for the change at the time of the announcement. The secretary has generally been cut out of the loop on major foreign policy moves, like Trump's impulsive decision to meet with Kim Jong-un.

It was reported by the Washington Post that Mr Tillerson was informed of his dismissal several days ago. Reporters who cover the State Department had been guessing how long into 2018 that Tillerson would last.

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