Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo will be replaced by Haspel. Missing from the audience during Trump's announcement, Tillerson was reportedly against the move.
With Tillerson gone, it marks another high-profile departure from the Trump administration - which has already seen exits from Gary Cohn, national economic council director, and Hope Hicks, communications director, in the past two weeks.
Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, notes that one of Pompeo's first acts as CIA director was to revamp the way intelligence was collected on North Korea.
Even if the nuclear deal survives on European life support, Iran can clearly see that the pragmatists in the administration advocating a more balanced approach to the JCPOA are on the decline while hawks like Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley are on the rise.
Immediately, President Trump replaced Tillerson with loyalist CIA Director, Mike Pompeo.
He quickly developed a strong relationship with Trump owing to giving daily intelligence briefings to the president himself. Before leaving on a trip to California, Trump spoke openly of his differences with Tillerson, saying, "We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things".
Lee Do-hoon, the Foreign Ministry's point man on North Korean nuclear issues, also departed for Washington on Wednesday to coordinate with United States officials ahead of the planned foreign ministerial talks.
"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 previous year.
"She'll have to answer for that period of time, but I think she's a highly qualified person", Sen. "I wanted to break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently".
"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. In a statement released after the announcement, Trump said that Pompeo's "experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the Central Intelligence Agency have prepared him well for his new role".
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Others said Pompeo's ability to influence a mercurial and impulsive President - and push back when he disagrees on a policy issue - is another open and crucial question.
"This has been an honor of a lifetime and I'm grateful to the secretary and the President for this opportunity". Tillerson's brutal departure may reduce the USA administration's divisions on key foreign policy issues, but is unlikely to stop continued flip-flops by the President which reflect the ad-hoc nature of his style of governing, policy inexperience, and contrarian nature.
It is not merely that Tillerson thought Obama's sweetheart deal with Iran was "okay", as Trump complained in announcing his termination of Tillerson. "We were not really thinking the same". I like Rex a lot. I think it's something that can't be forgotten. She applauded how Pompeo observed that the registry would be "the very foundation of the EPA's effort to pursue its radical anti-jobs agenda".
Tillerson had a tumultuous tenure at the State Department.
Tillerson, who was confirmed by a 56-43 vote in the Senate past year, was removed after months of reported mutual dislike between the two men, with Tillerson also reportedly calling the president a "moron" in private.
The Tillerson sacking comes at a sensitive moment in worldwide relations as the president prepares to meet the leader of North Korea for the first time.
Under-Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, in a statement, made clear Tillerson was caught off guard.
Finnegan tweeted: "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security".
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.