President Donald Trump has ousted his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and is replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo is to be replaced at CIA by Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s deputy at CIA.
“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!,” Trump said on Twitter Tuesday.
“The President wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations,” said a senior White House official, regarding the timing of the announcement.
President Trump announced last week he had agreed to meet in person with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Details have yet to be worked out.
Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein said Tillerson “did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling.”
VOA White House correspondent Steve Herman contributed to this report