WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he was replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!" Trump tweeted, adding that Gina Haspel, Pompeo's deputy, would be the new director of the CIA as "the first woman so chosen."
The nomination has yet to be approved by Congress, although it is highly unlikely to be vetoed.
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that the replacement was a "great decision by the president." She also congratulated Pompeo on the new nomination, calling him a "friend".
The abrupt announcement came as Tillerson had just wrapped up his visit to Africa.
It also came on the heels of Trump's ground-breaking statement last week that he had accepted the invitation of Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), for a meeting.
Tillerson, former chief executive of the U.S. oil and gas company Exxon, assumed office on Feb. 1, 2017. He underwent a rocky term as a newcomer diplomat due to his divergence from Trump on issues like multilateralism and America's withdrawal from multilateral treaties and organizations.