CIA Director Mike Pompeo is Trump’s pick to replace Tillerson.
Gina Haspel, CIA deputy director, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead the CIA.
President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday.
Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled diplomat cut short a trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.
Tension between Trump and Tillerson has simmered for many months, but the president and his top diplomat reached a breaking point over the past week, officials said.
Mr. Tillerson, a former chief executive of the oil giant Exxon Mobil, had once been viewed as an intriguing, if unorthodox, cabinet choice.
Mr. Pompeo, a former congressman, has become a favorite of Mr. Trump’s, impressing the president with his engaging approach during morning intelligence briefings. But he also, at times, has been at odds with the president — including agreeing with a C.I.A. assessment about Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
In picking Ms. Haspel to succeed Mr. Pompeo at the C.I.A., Mr. Trump opted for continuity rather than bringing in an outsider. At one point last fall, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, one of the president’s closest Republican allies on Capitol Hill, had been tentatively tapped as the front-runner to run the agency if Mr. Pompeo moved up, but the idea later faded.
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