Home US Politics Rex Tillerson Out as Trump’s Secretary of State, Replaced by Mike Pompeo

Rex Tillerson Out as Trump’s Secretary of State, Replaced by Mike Pompeo



Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson at the White House in June.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced Tuesday that Mike Pompeo, now the C.I.A. director, will become secretary of state, replacing Rex W. Tillerson, ending his short but tumultuous tenure as the nation’s chief diplomat. Mr. Tillerson found himself repeatedly at odds with Mr. Trump on a variety of key foreign policy issues.

The president announced his decision via Twitter.

A senior administration official said that Mr. Trump made the decision to replace Mr. Tillerson now in order to have a new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader he plans to meet by May, and various ongoing trade negotiations.

Mr. Trump said he will replace Mr. Pompeo with the deputy C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, making her the first woman to head the spy agency. Both she and Mr. Pompeo would need confirmation by the Senate to take the positions.

Mr. Tillerson has been out of favor with Mr. Trump for months but had resisted efforts to push him out and vowed to remain on the job. But his distance from Mr. Trump’s inner circle was clear last week when the president accepted an invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, to the surprise of Mr. Tillerson, who was traveling in Africa at the time.

In his announcement, Mr. Trump focused on Mr. Pompeo without explaining his decision about Mr. Tillerson.

“As Director of the C.I.A., Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the international intelligence community,” he said in a written statement distributed by the White House.

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