U.S. President Donald J. Trump has ousted former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson from the Secretary of State position with plans to name CIA Director as the nation’s top diplomat.
The U.S. President said in a tweet on Tuesday that Tillerson will be replaced by CIA drector Mike Pompeo who in turn will be replaced by deputy CIA director Gina Haspel.
According to the American daily The Washington Post, Trump asked Tillerson to step aside last Friday, forcing the former Exxon boss to cut short his trip to Africa and return to Washington on Monday.
Citing three White House officials, the Post also reported that Trump – who has long clashed with Tillerson – felt it was important to make the change now, as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Tillerson became the U.S. Secretary of State a little over a year ago after squeezing narrowly past the Foreign Committee who approved his nomination by a narrow 11-10 vote and sent him further for a full senate vote. Fifty-six senators voted in favor of Tillerson for the U.S. Secretary of State post, while 43 voted against. Tillerson was sworn in on February 1, 2017.
In a statement following the President’s announcement on Tuesday, Tillerson said that the most important thing was to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges.
According to his statement, Tillerson will be leaving the position at the end of March. Meanwhile, he delegated his responsibilities of the office of the Secretary to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
Tillerson added: “Between now and then, I will address a few administrative matters related to my departure and work towards a smooth and orderly transition for Secretary of State-Designate Mike Pompeo.”
Concluding his statement, Tillerson said: “I’ll now return to private life as a private citizen, as a proud American, proud of the opportunity I’ve had to serve my country.”
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Offshore Energy Today Staff