Trump replaces Tillerson with Pompeo, names Gina Haspel as first woman to head CIA

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Washington — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the departure of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to be succeeded by the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!” Trump tweeted.

“Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” he added.

The US president announced the appointment of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency — the first woman tapped for the post.

Donald Trump wanted to change up his cabinet team before launching high-stakes negotiations with North Korea, a senior US official said Tuesday.

“The president wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea,” the official said.

Tillerson’s departure represents the biggest staff change in the Trump Cabinet so far and caps months of tensions between the Republican president and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive.

A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday but did want not to announce it while he was on a trip to Africa.

The official said Trump works well with Pompeo, a former congressman from Kansas who is seen as a loyalist within the administration.

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. — Agencies


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