With Pompeo's rise, uncertainty deepens for Iran nuclear deal

With Pompeo's rise, uncertainty deepens for Iran nuclear deal

If confirmed, 61-year-old Gina Haspel would become the first female head of the Central Intelligence Agency. She is a veteran CIA clandestine officer backed by many in the US intelligence community but regarded warily by some in Congress for her involvement in the agency's "black site" detention facilities.

The 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive and the president had differences over a host of issues including the United States policy on North Korea and Russian Federation. The president frequently complained to his West Wing advisers about Tillerson, and Tillerson once reportedly called Trump a "moron" behind his back.

"I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture", Trump said of Pompeo in a statement distributed by the White House.

"I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same".

"We congratulate Mike Pompeo on his designation as the new Secretary of State".

Trump kept the timing to an unusually close circle that included Chief of Staff John Kelly and Vice-President Mike Pence, officials said.

The personnel change comes ahead of a planned summit in the coming months between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set to be the first-ever meeting between a sitting USA leader and a North Korean one.

Tillerson's exit had been rumored for some time, given his repeated disagreements with Trump on foreign policy.

"This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed", said one US official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Many Democrats in Congress expressed dismay at the firing, which they said would sow more instability in the Trump administration at a crucial time.


Tillerson never fully denied the claim, which prompted the president - seemingly stung - to challenge his top diplomat to an IQ test.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's bad; I guess he thought it was OK", Trump said of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in which Iran agreed to give up its nuclear programs in return for the lifting of sanctions.

The firing of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state is one of the least surprising developments of Donald Trump's presidency. Tillerson, the White House said, asked that Trump wait until he returned to the US, and he shortened his trip to Africa - where much of his mission revolved around softening the impact of Trump's recent reported criticisms.

On Monday, Mr Tillerson sharply criticised Russian Federation over the poisonings in England of a former spy and his daughter, directly blaming Moscow after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stopped short of doing so. He will do a fantastic job!

Tillerson joined a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Trump took office in January 2017.

Hours after his boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was ousted Steve Goldstein, the under secretary of public affairs at the State Department has been fired by the White House. The European parties to the deal were trying to work through Tillerson to ensure that the White House avoids rupturing the JCPOA directly, even as it layers sanctions on issues that were not addressed in the deal.

Several months earlier in Beijing, Tillerson said the United States was directly communicating with North Korea but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue. Trump contradicted Tillerson's efforts a day later. "I think hopefully the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program".

But Democratic lawmakers said failure to challenge Trump could be risky.

Tillerson's insult to Trump's intelligence came after heated discussions about Afghanistan policy, in which Trump had pushed to end the USA presence altogether and flirted with outsourcing the military counterterrorism campaign to private contractors.

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