Tillerson holding a press conference about his ousting. | Photo: YouTube/TIME
President Donald Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Gina Haspel, in turn, is becoming the new CIA Director.
He revealed the news via tweet on Tuesday (13 March) morning.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
The number of senior officials who were hired by the Trump administration — and subsequently left — is now in the high 30s. This is a higher turnover rate in one year of Trump’s term than the first two years of past presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Trump first nominated Tillerson in December 2016.
According to various reports, Tillerson did not know about this decision before it happened. Reporters from AP confirmed the tweet was a shock.
We got off the plane with Tillerson less than four hours ago. There was zero indication on flight home that this was imminent.
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 13, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tillerson aide: Trump never explained to Tillerson reason he was fired, and Tillerson had wanted to stay in job.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 13, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Trump says he made decision to oust secretary of state `by myself,’ says Tillerson will be `much happier now’
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) March 13, 2018
However, he differed significantly from the President, especially when it came to messages of support for the LGBTI community.
Loyalty is a key element of the current administration.
So who is Pompeo?
Pompeo previously served in the House of Representatives for the state of Kansas. He was a member of the Tea Party, a subset of the Republican Party.
Trump nominated Pompeo as CIA Director in November 2016. The Senate confirmed him the following January.
After only a little more than a year serving the CIA, he is now nominated as the new Secretary of State. If he’s confirmed, he’ll be the 70th person to hold the position.
Like many other Trump nominees, Pompeo also has a staunch anti-LGBTI track record.
He opposed the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.
Following the vote, he said: ‘Creating, out of nowhere, a federal right to marry, flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution. It is a shocking abuse of power. It is wrong. I will continue to fight to protect our most sacred institutions.’
He also oppose the repeals of both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Furthermore, Pompeo claimed that families with same-sex parents are less ideal.
‘I think as you look back at civilization, look back at history, you find the strength of these families having a father and a mother is the ideal condition for childbearing,’ he said.
The Senate said Pompeo’s confirmation hearing will be in April.