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CIA's Pompeo brings insider's touch to secretary of state role

13 March 2018

News of Tillerson's departure from the State Department came as the secretary arrived in Washington early Tuesday morning after his overseas visit to Africa.

Goldstein says Tillerson will miss his colleagues at the State Department and the foreign ministers he worked with.

Fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L), and his replacement, Mike Pompeo.

Corker separately told reporters on Capitol Hill that he'd spoken with President Donald Trump and with Pompeo Tuesday morning and praised the decision.

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Tillerson arrived back in Washington before dawn on Tuesday after a tour of African countries and a few hours later Trump announced abruptly on Twitter that he was to be replaced by Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo.

The biggest shakeup of Mr Trump's cabinet since he took office in January 2017 was announced by the president on Twitter as his administration prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.

Trump's change puts an ardent foe of the Iran nuclear deal in charge of USA diplomacy as the president also dives into high-stakes talks with North Korea. "Congratulations to all!" Trump tweeted. With Mike Pompeo we have a very similar thought process. Tillerson was also often out of step with Trump on foreign policy, most notably with issues involving North Korea. "The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason".

A White House official said Trump wanted to have a new team in place ahead of upcoming talks with North Korea and various trade talks. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well". When the White House stopped short of directly blaming Moscow for the high-profile nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the United Kingdom, Tillerson pulled no punches. Tillerson famously called the president a "fucking moron" after Trump requested a major increase in the number of nuclear missiles last summer.

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But over time, many lawmakers grew to appreciate Tillerson as a relatively steady hand in the chaotic Trump administration.

Much like his quick choice to take the meeting with Kim Jong-Un, Trump chose to remove Tillerson from his Cabinet post by himself, according to the AP. Paid $27.3 million previous year, Tillerson has accumulated roughly $160 million in Exxon stock along with $149 million of unvested stock options, according a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rumors of Tillerson's ouster first started late previous year, when reports that appeared to be targeted leaks from the White House emerged that Trump was souring on his secretary of state, following policy disputes and embarrassing leaks.

Later, her name was on the order to carry out the destruction of videotapes of the interrogation, the New York Times reported, although the agency said her superior, Jose Rodriguez, head of the clandestine service, had made the decision.

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Others include strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, health secretary Tom Price, communications directors Hope Hicks and Anthony Scaramucci, economic adviser Gary Cohn and press secretary Sean Spicer. "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".

CIA's Pompeo brings insider's touch to secretary of state role