Rex Tillerson out as Secretary of State

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia in a 2016 file

The move came on Tuesday when President Donald Trump announced he would replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA director Mike Pompeo, paving the way for Haspel, who was second-in-command at the agency, to take over. Trump acknowledged that his approach to foreign policy has repeatedly clashed with Tillerson's.

USA stock index futures pared their gains and the dollar also trimmed gains versus the yen while extending losses versus the euro amid the news.

The gold subsector rose 0.65 percent as pot gold percent to $1,322.36 an ounce following the ouster of U.S. Secretary of State by President Donald Trump.

The Washington Post reports that Trump asked Tillerson to step aside on Friday, March 9 moments after he had arrived in Kenya. Haspel, who once oversaw the Central Intelligence Agency prison in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded, must be confirmed by the Senate before she can take over the position as the nation's top spy.

Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service, Mr Trump tweeted that his new top diplomat would do "a fantastic job". "Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect", Trump said of Pompeo.

Tillerson faced opposition during his Senate confirmation process, with lawmakers expressing concerns over his lack of experience in government and diplomacy, and strong ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin from years of business in the country.

"She was the acting director for operations when I arrived, and she has a wealth of experience and background, and she has more than three decades experience overseas as well as at headquarters, ' said Brennan, saying she enjoyed 'tremendous respect" in the agency.

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It also comes amid a dramatic diplomatic opening with North Korea, with Trump set to hold a historic meeting with leader Kim Jong Un in May.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest Trump administration staffer to get the ax. "A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well".

The news broke just hours after Tillerson debarked from a plane from a weeklong trip to Africa. When you combine the countless number of questions and scenarios on the North Korea issue - and compound that with issues like renegotiating NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), the Iran nuclear deal, what to do about Syria, and the always complex challenge of Russia - President Trump needs a secretary of state he has confidence in.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary at the time, sought to portray a more harmonious dynamic, saying that "the secretary is having an ongoing and productive exchange with the president and his team".

Mr Tillerson joined a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Mr Trump took office in January 2017.

In fact, according to a report by Fox News, the president chose to make this decision ahead of the expected upcoming summit between him and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Paid $27.3 million a year ago, Tillerson has accumulated roughly $160 million in Exxon stock along with $149 million of unvested stock options, according a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also said he is confident that Pompeo will be confirmed by the Senate. The president and his surrogates consistently criticized reports that Tillerson would not last long - reports that now appear to have been well-founded.

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