Trump fires Tillerson, names Pompeo new secretary of state

Tillerson out at secretary of state, to be replaced by CIA chief Pompeo

President Donald Trump announced early Tuesday morning that he had ousted Rex Tillerson from his position as Secretary of State.

Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service on Twitter, Mr Trump said the new state secretary would do "a fantastic job".

He continued, "Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service".

As the New York Times reported a year ago, "as a clandestine officer at the Central Intelligence Agency in 2002, Gina Haspel oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand".

Mr Trump last Friday asked Mr Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.

More news: Trump signs order blocking Broadcom's $117 billion bid for Qualcomm

In the tweet, Trump also announced Gina Haspel would become the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency, replacing Pompeo.

"He will continue our program of restoring America's standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", he added.

In a statement issued to The Washington Post, Mr Trump praised both Mr Pompeo and Ms Haspel.

More on this as it develops. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last 14 months, and I wish him and his family well".

A senior White House official said: "The president wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations".

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