Rex Tillerson Out As Secretary of State
President Trump made the announcement on Tuesday.
While the announcement came early Tuesday morning, reports indicate Tillerson was told Friday that Trump wanted him to step aside. Thus ends Tillerson’s tumultuous tenure as Secretary of State where he often clashed with the President. The announcement bring a dramatic conclusion to Tillerson’s tenure in a role where he often clashed with Trump. This included Tillerson’s insistence only two months ago that he wasn’t going anywhere. As of this writing, no statement has been released by Tillerson.
Tillerson out, Pompeo in.
President Trump also announced that Mike Pompeo, current CIA director, will take over as Secretary of State. Prior to his appointment as CIA Director, Pompeo was a member of the House for six years representing the fourth district of Kansas. Pompeo has many of the same stances held by the President with regard to foreign policy save one. He stated during his confirmation hearing he regards Russia as a severe threat which deviates from the President’s position radically.
First female CIA director.
Furthermore, Gina Haspel will rise to the CIA Director role. She will be the first woman to hold the position. Trump made headlines and Gaspel made history when he appointed her to the role of Deputy Director in 2017 as she was also the first woman to hold that position. Haspel has worked for the CIA for more than thirty years though her time there has not been without controversy. In 2002, Haspel ran a “black site” in Thailand, code name Cat’s Eye, which held suspected al Qaeda members and subjected them to torture. Then in 2005 she was accused of ordering the destruction of dozens of videotapes made at the black site.
Due to her role in this she was denied the permanent position of Deputy Director of National Clandestine Service after she was named to the position by then CIA Director John Brennan. With her rise to the role of Director, it will be interesting to see what direction the CIA takes from here.