President Donald Trump has removed Rex Tillerson and named current Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo as the new Secretary of State. Missing from the audience during Trump's announcement, Tillerson was reportedly against the move.
"The Senate already rightly denied Deputy Director Haspel a post as head of the clandestine service because of the role she played in the Bush administration's enhanced interrogation programme". Despite a controversial past, her rise is not surprising - she previously served as CIA deputy director and led worldwide undercover spying operations, a CIA mission that has gained renewed importance in recent years.Haspel, 61, joined the spy agency in 1985 and served as chief of station in several posts around the world.
Critics expressed dismay at the decision to swap out top diplomats so soon before the unprecedented meeting and anxious that Pompeo would encourage Trump to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and be hawkish on North Korea.
As CIA director, Pompeo has followed Trump's lead in declining to directly accuse Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and withholding direct allegations of recent chemical weapons use in Syria. He has consistently defended the president's stance against North Korea. He joined other top intelligence community officials in congressional testimony last month to warn that Moscow is mounting another campaign to intervene in upcoming U.S. elections.
"We pray for the best for Secretary Tillerson in all his future endeavors", said the agency. He also pointed out the core issue.
"I think the president was clear this entire effort was meant to put pressure on the Taliban, to have the Taliban understand that you will not win a battlefield victory", Tillerson told reporters past year. "But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests". I wanted to either break it or do something.
"It's important that the United States maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response", the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil had said during his confirmation hearings. Tillerson was often seen as a moderating force who could calm some of Trump's more rash positions.
Between 2003 and 2005, Haspel oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand where terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded, current and former USA intelligence officials said. "It's exactly times like these that I need to visit the United States", the source quoted Kono as saying.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono had been planning a trip to the United States later this week to hold talks with Tillerson about the latest developments in North Korea.
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"We got along, actually, quite well, but we disagreed on things", Trump told reporters at the White House today.
According to a Japanese government source, Trump and Tillerson are said to have been at odds with each other over how to deal with North Korea.
"I think it creates somewhat of an unstable environment in the bureaucracy and our democracy", she said. "I think it's going to go very well", Trump said. He will do a fantastic job!
"I've had a good working relationship with her over the past year, but rightfully there are a lot of questions to be asked", Warner said.
Ironically, Trump complained that Tillerson was "too establishment" when he described his reasons for removing him - a corporate outsider who had ambitious plans to apply his experience running a global energy supermajor to wholly restructuring the State Department.
Despite the sudden change, Kang plans to leave for the USA for a three-day visit Thursday as scheduled to meet U.S. officials and discuss matters concerning President Moon Jae-in and Trump's respective meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Politico reported in February that a fuming Tillerson said there can not be "four secretaries of state", referencing what he saw as intrusion by Kushner, UN ambassador Nikki Haley and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said his committe would continue its "positive relationship" with the CIA under her leadership.