Vice President Mike Pence quickly issued a message of support for President Donald Trump’s decision to replace Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and to tap Gina Haspel as the first woman to lead the CIA.
Pence had words of appreciation for outgoing Secretary of State Tillerson before a quick pivot to congratulate Pompeo as the pick for 70th secretary of state. Pompeo, who has served as director of the CIA, will have to face confirmation hearings before he takes up the post.
“Thanks to Rex Tillerson for his service to our Administration & Nation & I congratulate CIA Director Mike Pompeo on his nomination to become the 70th Sec of State,” Pence tweeted.
The vice president called Pompeo “a man of highest integrity with unquestionable qualifications who will do an outstanding job.” He described incoming CIA Director Gina Haspel as “a dedicated public servant who will bring decades of experience to her new role as CIA Director,” adding that “after confirmation, both will continue to serve our nation with distinction”:
Thanks to Rex Tillerson for his service to our Administration and Nation & I congratulate CIA Director Mike Pompeo on his nomination to become the 70th Secretary of State. My statement: pic.twitter.com/G79VIC6EEs
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 13, 2018
Haspel would become the first woman to lead the CIA.
President Trump announced the change on Tuesday morning before heading to California to tour border wall prototypes.
Before boarding Marine One, Trump stopped to tell reporters, “I’ve worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy. Tremendous intellect. We’re always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good, and that’s what I need as secretary of state. I wish Rex Tillerson well.”
Trump then praised Haspel and indicated that his team is close to being what he wants it to be: “I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”
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