Trump ousts top diplomat Tillerson, replacing him with Central Intelligence Agency chief Pompeo

WASHINGTON DC- MARCH 13 President Donald Trump holds a meeting with members of his cabinet including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the Cabinet Room of the White House

WASHINGTON DC- MARCH 13 President Donald Trump holds a meeting with members of his cabinet including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the Cabinet Room of the White House

Trump: Rex Tillerson out as secretary of state, to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Trump's announcement.

Trump tweeted the news of Tillerson's ouster, thanking him for his service.

There had been longstanding rumors throughout most of Tillerson's tenure of friction between Trump and his secretary of state, a former Exxon Mobile Corp. CEO.

Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA's first-ever female director, a historic milestone.

"I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State", Trump told the newspaper. Haspel will be the first woman to serve in the position.

Before issuing his statement, Tillerson called his British counterpart Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to discuss the investigation into last week's attempt to kill former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southwest of England.

Trump announced the removal of Tillerson on social media Tuesday morning.

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