The president also announced that he would be appointing deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the top spy agency, making her the first woman in history to lead the CIA.
With Pompeo taking over as the nation’s top diplomat, Trump has stunned feminists by appointing a woman to lead the CIA.
Trump reportedly asked Tillerson to resign on Friday, which he accepted.
Trump also thanked Tillerson for his service and said Pompeo will do a “fantastic job.”
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 separate statement, Trump said he’s confident Pompeo “is the right person for the job at this critical juncture.”
Trump said Pompeo, an U.S. Army veteran and former congressman from Kansas, will “continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world.”
He said Pompeo will “strengthen our alliances, confront our adversaries, and seek the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Trump also told reporters he “made that decision by myself” to remove Tillerson, noting that “Rex, as you know, was not in this country” at the time of their call.
The president admitted he had disagreements with Tillerson on key issues, saying, “we were not thinking the same.”
He added: “Rex will be happier now.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Pompeo will replace Tillerson’s tough task of working with other nations and ensuring the United States is well represented around the world, something Trump did not feel Tillerson was adequately doing.
Since Tillerson was confirmed in February 2017, there have been numerous scuffles with Trump who grew tired over his inability to push the president’s message abroad.
But more importantly, Trump is very close with Pompeo. Both men were very friendly during the 2016 presidential election, and Trump has praised his work at the CIA since being appointed last year.
With Pompeo and Trump being more in-step with foreign policy and handling threats around the world, many have stated this is a good move by the administration.