President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo will be replaced by Gina Haspel, who will become the first woman to lead the CIA.
The move came after months of turmoil, and one day after Tillerson told reporters that Russia was behind a nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian spy, despite the White House’s refusal to point the finger at Moscow, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
The New York Times reported in December that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had developed a plan that would see Tillerson ousted and replaced with Pompeo by “around the end of the year or shortly afterward.” The president denied the report.
The relationship between Trump and Tillerson has reportedly been strained for months.
The secretary of state held a news conference late last year to deny an NBC News report that claimed Tillerson had nearly resigned from his post over the summer after Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America with a divisive, political speech.
Just days before Trump’s speech, Tillerson was heard calling Trump a “moron,” NBC News reported, citing three unidentified officials. Tillerson declined to speak about the reported name calling.
“My commitment to my president and our country is strong,” Tillerson said in October. “I serve at the appointment of the president, and I’m here for as long as the president believes I can be useful.”