Tillerson out, Pompeo in as Trump's Secretary of State

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is removing Rex Tillerson after a rocky tenure and nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his place, a shake-up that appeared to take the secretary of state by surprise.

"I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "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."

Trump said he and Tillerson did not see eye-to-eye on major foreign policy issues, naming as an example the Iran nuclear deal. The president said he wanted to back out of the agreement, but he said Tillerson supported staying in.

“We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” Trump said of Tillerson. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess he felt it was okay. So we were not really thinking the same.”

Speaking of Pompeo, Trump said: “Tremendous energy. Tremendous intellect. We're always on the same wave length. The relationship has always been very good. That's what I need as secretary of state." 

There had been longstanding rumors throughout most of Tillerson's tenure of friction between Trump and him.

Pompeo is the first former CIA director to become secretary of state. Before joining the Trump administration, he was elected to Congress from Kansas.

“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," Pompeo said in a statement. "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.”

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