The word in DC is that US President Donald Trump is considering current CIA Director Mike Pompeo as a replacement for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose relationship with our President is said to be “broken beyond repair.”
According to the “insiders” the last straw for President Trump was that Mr. Tillerson did not do enough to push back against the report Wednesday that he called the President a “moron” after a Pentagon meeting last July.
Soon to be Mr. Tillerson organized a hasty press conference to deny that he had to be talked out of resigning his post, he did not actually deny calling President Trump a moron.
Later, however, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert did issue such a blanket denial several hours after Sec. Tillerson’s press conference.
The White House now is said to have “Zero Trust” in the State Department.
Pompeo has been suggested as a replacement because he has an excellent personal relationship with President Trump and already works with him extensively on the President’s Daily Brief, so he could help rebuild that trust.
CIA Director Pompeo would also be able to rebuild the State Department’s credibility with world leaders, which has reportedly been damaged because no one believes Rex Tillerson is part of the President’s “inner circle” anymore.
The insiders are confident Director Pompeo will accept the position should President Trump offers it.
The primary opponent of the switch could be White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who believes any further high-level staff turnover before the end of the year would destroy the atmosphere of “stability” he has been trying to create. But, he may also have lost favor with President Trump and be headed out the door too soon.
Another potential stumbling block could be Director Pompeo’s agenda at the CIA.
Last Wednesday, he told an intelligence conference at George Washington University that he’s working on reducing Red Tape at The Company.
“If you are in a process and you’re not adding value, get out of the way,” he said of his approach. “This risk of the absence of agility and speed is a price our agency can’t afford to pay.”
Director Pompeo said he was trying to get more CIA agents into the field to deal with imminent security threats, improve the agency’s data processing technology, and give station officers more autonomy to make time-critical decisions without consulting Washington.
He noted during his presentation that President Trump is an “avid consumer” of the intelligence his agency produces.
In mid-September, with rumors swirling that Rex Tillerson might either resign or be sacked by the President, and that Director Pompeo was 1 of 2 favored candidates to replace him, the other being UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Director Pompeo, a former US Congressman, is not seen as eager to leave a job he loves, while Ms. Haley has been asserting herself as someone ready for something bigger since she joined the administration.
It is said that Amb. Haley does not have a very good working relationship with Secretary Tillerson, refusing to see herself as his subordinate and handling press conferences without approval from Tillerson’s State Department.
Amb. Haley was described as having a certain degree of policy friction with President Trump that might make Director Pompeo a better fit as Secretary of State, notably Amb. Haley’s more Hawkish stance on confronting human-rights abusers and hostile actors like Russia.
Paul Ebeling, Editor
Editor’s Note: There is collateral damage in all Revolutions.
Latest posts by Paul Ebeling (see all)
- F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) and the Coronavirus - February 28, 2020
- Fed’s Powell: “Economy Is Fine but Fed Ready to Act as Needed” - February 28, 2020
- Wall Street’s Key Stock Analysts Research Report - February 28, 2020