President Trump announced Tuesday morning his decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo; ending months of speculation over Tillerson’s future at the Department and re-focusing the President’s foreign policy agenda as he sets his sights on future talks with North Korea.
“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!” the President tweeted.
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
In a statement released by the White House, Director Pompeo expressed his “deep gratitude” to the President, adding he’s “looking forward to representing” the people of the United States.
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as secretary of state. His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity,” said the statement.
OUCH: Huckabee Sanders SCORCHES NBC Reporter Over Tillerson IQ Joke
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired-back at the White House press corps on Tuesday, telling the journalists to “get a sense of humor” after the President made a joke about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s IQ during a recent interview.
Sanders was fielding questions from reporters when she was pressed on comments made by the President, suggesting he and Tillerson compare IQ scores after the Secretary allegedly referred to Trump as a “moron” during private meetings.
“I think it’s fake news,” Trump told Forbes magazine in a recent interview, “but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”
“How does the president expect the secretary of state to be effective when he’s questioning his intelligence?” asked NBC’s Kristen Welker during Tuesday’s press briefing.
“Again, he wasn’t questioning the Secretary of state’s Intelligence. He made a joke,” Sanders responded. “Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime,” said the Press Secretary, as audible gasps could be heard in the room.
“He simply made a joke. He’s been extremely clear time and time again despite the fact that you guys want to continue to bring this up and create a story. He’s got 100 percent confidence in the secretary of state. He’s said it multiple times over the last couple of weeks,” she added.
Watch Sarah Huckabee Sanders shoot-down the NBC reporter above.
CRISIS IN KOREA: US Preps Evacuation of All Americans from South Korea
The United States Military will conduct massive drills next week, simulating the full-scale evacuation of thousands of American citizens from inside South Korea should war erupt between the US and North Korea, reports the New York Times.
The operation, code-named Courageous Channel, will take place next Monday and last five days; preparing American service members and their families “to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,” said a US official.
While evacuation drills are not uncommon for the US military in the region, the move raises new fears among South Koreans that the simulation may signal an impending strike on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The war of words between the United States and the communist nation reached new heights over the weekend, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he hoped diplomacy would successfully force Kim to voluntarily abandon his nuclear arsenal “until the first bombs drop.”
“Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops,” Tillerson told CNN. “The President has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. He is not seeking to go to war.”