US President Donald Trump has reportedly asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to leave his post, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Trump asked Tillerson to step aside last Friday, prompting him to cut short his trip to Africa and return to Washington.
CIA Chief Mike Pompeo will replace Tillerson at the State Department, and Gina Hapsel – the Deputy Director at the CIA – will succeed him at the CIA. If confirmed, she would become the CIA's first female director.
In a statement issued to The Washington Post, Trump praised both Pompeo and Haspel: "I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State," Trump said. "Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the US Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the US House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle."
"Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.
"Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well," Trump concluded.
"I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as Secretary of State," Pompeo said in a statement. "His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity. Serving alongside the great men and women of the CIA, the most dedicated and talented public servants I have encountered, has been one of the great honors of my life."
Haspel also said she was excited for her promotion. "After 30 years as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has been my honor to serve as its Deputy Director alongside Mike Pompeo for the past year," she said in a statement. "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."