Tillerson Out, Mike Pompeo to State

Gina Haspel will be the first female CIA director if her nomination is confirmed

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest Trump administration staffer to get the ax.

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state's comments about Russian Federation appeared to be at odds with those of the White House. But Tillerson continued to hang on, pointing out that his doubters had yet to be proven right.

'I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next director of the Central Intelligence agency, ' Haspel said. His political obituaries were already being written after Trump undermined him or sidelined him on several issues, including the Iran nuclear deal (which Tillerson supported). "So we were not thinking the same", Trump said.

Trump said he and Pompeo have "a similar thought process".

Mr. Trump released a statement saying he was "proud" to nominate Pompeo to replace Tillerson.

Hope Hicks The White House communications director, one of Trump's longest-serving and most trusted aides, resigned on February 28.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

The official said Mr Trump works well with Mr Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, and wanted him in place before the president's planned talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and trade negotiations.

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He appeared out of the loop last week when Mr Trump announced he would meet with Mr Kim.

Tillerson stoked resentment and criticism from some State Department employees for his controversial efforts to reform and pare down the department's bureaucracy, which some saw as a hollowing out of Foggy Bottom. S&P futures were last up 0.3 percent.

Trump also announced that he picked the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo as head of the agency. Trump tweeted, "He will do a fantastic job!"

The departure of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state is not a shocking development. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become the first woman to hold the post. "Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect", Trump said of Pompeo.

Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn and press secretary Sean Spicer. During that meeting Trump had called for an increase in America's nuclear weapons stockpiles in contravention of global treaties. The sensitive diplomacy would be the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the US and North Korea, which claims to have missiles capable of striking anywhere in the mainland U.S.

A government outsider lacking diplomatic experience, Tillerson arrived at the White House after decades at Exxon Mobile, rising from engineer in 1975 to chairman and CEO in 2006, overseeing vast expansion of the company's operations worldwide.

Hours later, however, Mr Trump accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, appearing to side firmly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in the dispute and to undermine Mr Tillerson's effort to adopt a more even-handed approach to broker a solution.

"Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time".

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