President Trump to replace Tillerson with Pompeo as secretary of state

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a news conference in December

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a news conference in December

US President Donald Trump today sacked his top diplomat Rex Tillerson and replaced him with Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo. He will do a fantastic job!

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma, at a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, March 9, 2018. Haspel has served as Pompeo's deputy and will become the first woman to serve as director.

"I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture".

Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with nuclear-armed North Korea.

"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", he said. Both Mr. Pompeo and Ms. Haspel will require Senate confirmation.

The rejig comes amid the turbulent human resource management at the White House, with four Trump aides deserting him in the past fortnight. Of Mr. Tillerson, the president said only, "I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service".

The breaking point appears to be Trump's surprise announcement last week that he was willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to CBS News. In October, NBC news reported that Tillerson called the president a "moron", something Tillerson never actually denied.

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