Trump Explains Rex Tillerson's Firing, Will Speak to May on Poisoning of Ex-Russian Spy
President Trump spoke outside the White House Tuesday after nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” the president tweeted. “He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!”
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
Trump said that there were differences of opinion between he and Tillerson.
“Right from the beginning, from day one, I’ve gotten along well with Mike Pompeo," said Trump, adding he got along with Tillerson as well but they "disagreed on some things," including the Iran nuclear deal.
"I think Rex will be much happier now, but I really appreciate his service."
Gina Haspel, who served as Pompeo's deputy, will be nominated as the new director of the CIA. She would be the first woman to serve in the role.
Trump said he will speak with British Prime Minister Theresa May later Tuesday about the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy outside London. May blamed Russia for the attack Monday, calling it “indiscriminate and reckless.”
"The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal," said May.
Trump said he is waiting to "get the facts straight" on the attack and if the United States agrees with the U.K.'s findings, Russia will be "condemned."
"As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be," he said.
Tillerson spoke late Monday about the attack, declaring "we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior."
"From Ukraine to Syria – and now the U.K. – Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens," Tillerson said.
Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter remain in critical condition, while a police officer who responded to the scene is in serious but stable condition.
"I'll see you at the wall," Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One for a trip to California to view border wall prototypes.
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