Mike Pompeo is a hard-line Republican, a former businessman turned politician and President Donald Trump's pick to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of State.
"I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great secretary of State, I have total confidence in him," Trump told reporters before departing the White House on Tuesday.
Noting Pompeo's "tremendous energy" and "tremendous intellect," Trump said their relationship has been very good and they are "always on the same wavelength."
After Trump's comments, State Department spokesman Steve Goldstein said Secretary Rex Tillerson hadn't planned to leave the post before news of the firing came down. What's more, Tillerson "did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason" for his firing, the spokesman added. Goldstein himself was later fired for contradicting the administration's account of Tillerson's termination.
And while it is unclear what Tillerson's exit means for other top Cabinet officials, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has undoubtedly lost an ally.