Report: Trump to dump Tillerson, replace him with CIA chief

NYT claims President Trump planning to install Iran deal opponents Mike Pompeo, Tom Cotton to State Dept., CIA in coming weeks.

David Rosenberg,

Rex Tillerson with President Trump
Rex Tillerson with President Trump
REUTERS

The Trump administration may be eyeing a major personnel change in December, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing claims by senior administration officials that President Trump is looking to appoint new chiefs to both the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department over the next few weeks.

Speaking with the Times on the condition of anonymity, senior Trump administration officials said the president is planning to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with former Kansas congressman and current CIA Director Michael Pompeo.

According to the report, President Trump would then appoint Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton to fill Pompeo’s position as CIA Director.

The plan was reportedly drawn up by President Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly.

Both Pompeo and Cotton are noted critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration.

While Tillerson offered criticism of the JCPOA, saying that it had ‘failed’ in its objected and called for modifications to the deal, he also emphasized that the US would not abandon the agreement.

Pompeo and Cotton, on the other hand, have been consistent critics of the JCPOA, and have both expressed support for nixing the landmark agreement.

A day before his nomination as CIA Director was made public, Pompeo wrote on Twitter “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

Thursday’s report in the Times is not the first public claim regarding the possible personnel changes. In October, NBC News reported that Pompeo was being considered for the State Department, with Tom Cotton a top candidate for replacing Pompeo at the CIA.

Earlier this year, Senator Cotton told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that "Jews are called Jews, because they’re from Judea ... It is a homeland to which the Jews have been attached for many millennia."




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