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President Donald Trump sang Mike Pompeo's praises in a statement nominating the CIA director for secretary of state, after ousting former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson from the position.
Tillerson's ouster ends a tumultuous tenure as America's top diplomat that was marked by a series of public disagreements with Trump.
Trump has picked Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency. If confirmed by the Senate, Pompeo would take on Tillerson's tough task of coordinating policy with an often unpredictable president.
Here is Trump's statement on Pompeo, Tillerson and Haspel:
I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State. Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.
As Director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernizing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the international intelligence community. I have gotten to know Mike very well over the past 14 months, and I am confident he is the right person for the job at this critical juncture. He will continue our program of restoring America's standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
His experience in the military, Congress, and as leader of the CIA have prepared him well for his new role and I urge his swift confirmation.
Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA's first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.
Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well.