Trump Is Replacing Rex Tillerson With C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo
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President Trump announced, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, that he will replace his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with the C.I.A. director and former Tea Party congressman Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo has forged a close relationship with President Trump and is viewed as being more in sync with Trump’s America First credo. Mr. Tillerson learned about this announcement via a tweet from Trump on Tuesday morning, after he was warned by White House chief of staff John F. Kelly on Friday, March 9, 2018, to cut short a trip to Africa and advised him “you may get a tweet.” Trump’s tweet, in italics, below:
Trump tweeted, “Mike Pompeo, director of the C.I.A., will become our new Secretary of the State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service. Gina Haspel will become the new Director of C.I.A., and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
Mr. Tillerson clashed repeatedly with the Trump administration and publicly disagreed with Trump on issues ranging from the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar to the American response to Russia’s cyber aggression.
More details and analysis, below, in “President Trump Swaps Tillerson For Obsequious Pompeo With Clumsy Firing” with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC:
Based on the video above, there are several notable points:
- Trump had previously asked Dan Coats if he could interfere with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, while Pompeo was in the room.
- Pompeo reorganized the CIA so that the counter-intelligence mission center at C.I.A. (which helped trigger the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia by serving as a conduit to the FBI last year for information the CIA developed on contacts between Russian individuals and Trump campaign associates.) would report directly to Pompeo rather than to deputy director or others.
- Pompeo made announcement that was contrary to intelligence community’s report: the intelligence community’ reported in Jan. of 2017: “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” But Pompeo publicly remarked in Oct. of 2017 that “the intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” Later, CIA had to issue a correction, “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed, and the Director did not intend to suggest that it had.”
More on analysis of the situation of replacing Tillerson with Pompe, “Will Mike Pompeo succeed where Rex Tillerson failed?” with Judy Woodruff gets reaction and analysis from Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, David Ignatius from The Washington Post and David Shedd, former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, below:
It is also worth reiterating that Gina Haspel will be the first female C.I.A. Director ever, breaking another glass ceiling.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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