Trump ousts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replaces him with Mike Pompeo

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"He dived into policy matters in a way that unnerved many professionals at the agency", the official added,"and morale was taking a blow that was spreading from the analytical side, where some people feared he was tailoring some PDBs (President's Daily Briefs intelligence assessments presented to the president) to tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than what the intelligence assessments were".

Trump designated White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director, but Cordray named a deputy director as his replacement, triggering a political and legal battle.

The undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, Steve Goldstein, says Tillerson "had every intention of staying" in the job because he felt he was making critical progress in national security.

"I wish Rex Tillerson well", Trump continued.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Pompeo "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 worldwide intelligence community", the president said in a statement.

He cited the Iran nuclear deal as an example of disagreements with Mr Tillerson and said he and Mr Pompeo have "a similar thought process". "We weren't really thinking the same".

"This is a level of discussion, this president is going to drive this effort, this negotiation, but it will take a team to build out the picture, so that we put the president in the best position so that he can achieve that outcome", Pompeo said on Sunday.

The biggest shakeup of Mr Trump's cabinet since he took office in January 2017 was announced by the president on Twitter as his administration prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea.

Tillerson "had every intention of staying" at his job before he was sacked. The move comes after the secretary of State asserted Monday night that Russian Federation "clearly" was responsible for the poisoning of a former British spy, a statement that went well beyond comments from the White House.

Last week, Trump accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May.

At 11:17AM ET (15:17 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 60.97 points, or 0.39 percent, to 15,665.76.

Both the new secretary of state and Central Intelligence Agency director will have to be confirmed by the Senate. "He will do a fantastic job!" the president tweeted.

Rex Tillerson, who as a long-time corporate executive was an unconventional pick for secretary of state, seemed like he was on thin ice from very early on in his administration tenure. Pompeo said he would consider reinstating it, although he couldn't imagine that Trump would ask him to. Unlike Tillerson, Louis McLane wasn't fired by President Andrew Jackson. "But that is why we do our job here and they do their job at the White House".

In December, Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key USA demand that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

Senior Trump administration officials also made it known in November that the White House had drafted a plan to replace Mr Tillerson.

Several months earlier in Beijing, Tillerson told reporters the United States was directly communicating with North Korea but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue. What surprised was the timing: right after Tillerson went more vocal about Russia's threat, and on the day when he just arrived from Africa.

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