Early Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump fired his secretary of state. Trump announced Twitter that he would promote the current director of the CIA to the role of the nation’s top diplomat. Control of the CIA will now fall to a woman, making this the first time a woman will head the agency.
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
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!” the president tweeted.
“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!”
It is unclear how soon Mike Pompeo, who had been CIA director, will take over at the State Department, though it is expected to be soon.
Rex Tillerson returned to the states Monday after a tour of Africa which included Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Gina Haspel, formerly the CIA’s deputy director, has worked undercover with the agency and, as an administrator, managed to avoid much of the limelight.
In a statement praising Pomeo’s qualifications, Trump said noted that his new Secretary of State “graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.”
Even though many are calling Tillerson’s ouster a “firing”, Trump has been polite about Tillerson: “A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well,” he said.
“The president, however, had clashed with Tillerson over and over again in the past year,” The Daily Mail writes, “seeing him as a relic of the Republican establishment at a time when the nation needed more unconventional thinking.”
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
This is a major shakeup in an administration that denies it has a problem keeping staff. Earlier this month, the president tweeted, “”People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection).”
Yet the list is growing. Tillerson. Gar Cohn. Roberta Jacobson. Hope Hicks. Josh Raffel. David Sorensen. Rachael Brand. Rob Porter. Andrew McCabe. Omarosa Manigault Newman. Richard Cordray. Tom Price. Sebastian Gorka. Steve Bannon…. The list continues.
The departures is much more significant when you include the wave of lower-level federal employees who have left their posts since the election. Just yesterday, Jason Schwab, The San Francisco spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, stepped down after he was forced to deliver what he calls “false” and “misleading” statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan.
It is unclear what the Tillerson departure and all of these other vacancies will do for foreign policy. Many are anxiously awaiting the promised negotiations with North Korea. The Trump administration is currently operating without a Korean ambassador, or an area policy expert.