'President Trump has decided to remove Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump announced Tuesday.
The move, first reported by The Washington Post, was followed by a tweet from Trump.
Gina Haspel will become the first woman director of the CIA, Trump said. Both she and Pompeo will have to be confirmed by the Senate.
Haspel is currently deputy director of the CIA.
The decision ends a tumultuous tenure for Tillerson, who often seemed at odds with Trump or out of the loop altogether.
Trump’s tweet Tuesday came the day after Tillerson blamed Russia for an assassination in London — something the White House had specifically not done just hours before.
Last Thursday, Tillerson said it would be premature for Trump to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Later that evening, Trump said he would meet Kim by May to discuss the future of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Last year, Tillerson said the United States should talk with North Korea, which Trump quickly shot down. It was later reported that Tillerson had called Trump a moron after a White House meeting.'
'Bomb Iran & execute Snowden’: Brief history of Pompeo’s foreign policy rhetoric
'Newly-installed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doesn’t have a huge amount of experience as a diplomat so what can we expect from the former Kansas congressman now that he is heading US foreign policy?
Pompeo landed the top job in the State Department on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump ousted Rex Tillerson. Here’s a flavor of his previous comments on the most pressing foreign policy issues.
Pompeo was appointed CIA director in November 2016. He began his tenure by talking tough on Russia, describing it as a major threat to US interests. “[Russia] has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nearly nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS.”
He continued with the hawkish rhetoric throughout his time in the CIA. On Sunday he said that Americans are safe from Russia because it has weapons to counter any Russian threat.
“Americans should rest assured that we have a very good understanding of the Russian program and how to make sure that Americans continue to be kept safe from threats from Vladimir Putin,” the then-CIA chief said.
However Russia isn’t the only ‘bad guy’ out there, according to Pompeo. In a revealing interview with the BBC the then-US spy chief attacked alleged Chinese efforts to exert covert influence in the West. He claimed China attempts to post spies in schools and hospitals, as well as trying to steal information from US companies.'
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Flashback 2017 - Gina Haspel - The New C.I.A. Deputy Chief’s Black-Site Past
'From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior official overseeing a top-secret C.I.A. program that subjected dozens of suspected terrorists to savage interrogations, which included depriving them of sleep, squeezing them into coffins, and forcing water down their throats. In 2002, Haspel was among the C.I.A. officers present at the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda suspect who was tortured so brutally that at one point he appeared to be dead.
On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that Haspel would become the C.I.A.’s new deputy director.
It appears that the debate about torture in the President’s mind, if there ever was one, is over.
Haspel, a career C.I.A. employee, took part in another of the agency’s darkest moments: the destruction, in 2005, of video tapes of the interrogation of Zubaydah and a second suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, at whose torture she was present, three years before.
Because Haspel’s new job is exempt from congressional confirmation, it’s doubtful she will ever have to publicly answer questions about her role in what amounts to America’s dirty war.
John Sifton, a senior official at Human Rights Watch, said the significance of Haspel’s appointment lies in the fact that she was intimately involved in the secret C.I.A. program known by its initials, R.D.I.—rendition, detention, and interrogation. Through the program, the C.I.A. not only tortured suspects but kidnapped them from various places around the globe and often delivered them to third-party countries that tortured them.'
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