Trump ousts Tillerson as Secretary of State, CIA director Pompeo to take post

| Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 2:41pm


Rex Tillerson's departure marks the biggest shakeup of Trump's Cabinet since he took office more than a year ago


US President Donald Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from his post on Tuesday, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The move, following a series of public rifts over issues including North Korea and Russia, was announced on Trump's Twitter account.

Trump thanked Tillerson, 65, for his service and said he would be replaced by CIA director Pompeo, who would "do a fantastic job!"

Pompeo, 54, regularly briefs Trump on intelligence matters, and is considered one of the most hawkish voices on North Korea in the president's inner circle.

A retired army officer, he is a former conservative Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Kansas.

Trump nominated CIA deputy director Gina Haspel to take over as the agency's first female director.

The US President has publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives many times, including this week when his comments about Russia appeared at odds with those of the White House.

On Monday, former Exxon Mobil chief executive Tillerson blamed Moscow for the poisonings in England of a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refrained from saying Russia was responsible.

A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday but did not want to make it public while he was on a trip to Africa. Trump's announcement came only a few hours after Tillerson landed in Washington after a trip that had been cut short.

His ousting marks the biggest shakeup of Trump's Cabinet since he took office more than a year ago.

SOURCE: euronews with Reuters