• Mary Harrison

President Trump replaces Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Last week, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, President Trump announced that he was replacing US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, current CIA director. Pres. Trump accredited this change to a need of like-mindedness between himself and his Secretary of State. Gina Haspel, deputy CIA director, is the President’s pick to take Pompeo's place.

According to the BBC, Pres. Trump tweeted about Tillerson’s replacement the day that Sec. Tillerson returned from diplomatic visits in Africa. However, other than an earlier warning from the White House Chief of Staff, Tillerson reportedly did not know of the President’s decision. Tillerson, 65, said that he will focus on his “private life,” after his time as Secretary of State finishes on next Saturday, March 31.

The President later explained that he and Tillerson were “not really thinking the same,” specifically about the Iran Deal, the BBC reports. On the other hand, Mike Pompeo has “a very similar thought process,” to Trump’s. “The relationship has been very good, and that’s what I need as secretary of state,” Trump said, according to NBC.

Pompeo previously represented Kansas in Congress in addition to being an Army veteran, former businessman, and current CIA director, NBC reports. If the Senate confirms him as Secretary of State, he will “[carry] out the President's foreign policies through the State Department,” according to the US State Department’s official website. This includes handling relationships with Iran, North Korea, and Russia that are strained according to NBC.

Although some Republicans have criticized the 70th Secretary of State nominee, at least two Republican senators "[believe] that Pompeo has enough support to be confirmed," according to The Hill and NBC.