The Trump administration’s chaos continues with news that the president has fired Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and brought in former CIA director Mike Pompeo in his place, The Washington Post reported and the president confirmed with a tweet,
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
Many Washington insiders saw Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil chief executive, as a mitigating factor for Trump’s unpredictability, but Trump often publicly clashed with the nation’s top diplomat. That came into focus when Tillerson allegedly called the president a “moron.” Trump did not fire him, but their tensions played out a national stage when the president tweeted in October that Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs, writing: “Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Now, Tillerson is out and Pompeo is in.
Pompeo has been vocal on at least two of Trump’s pet issues, including working toward talks with North Korea and saying that the U.S. intelligence community should stay out of the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, even though Pompeo admits that “the Russians attempted to interfere in the United States election in 2016.”
Trump also tweeted the news that Gina Haspel will become the first woman to be named Director of the CIA, and while it’s great seeing women in positions of leadership, it’s not so great when that woman has overseen torture, as the New York Times reports.