Trump's pick to lead CIA to face questions about torture

Image via Jared Rodriguez at Truthout on Flickr

A career State Department diplomat fired by President Donald Trump early in his administration had words of encouragement and advice for newly-ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday afternoon.

State department officials have told reporters that Rex Tillerson found out he'd lost his job after the US President tweeted about it.

Heitkamp voted to confirm the now ex-secretary a year ago, and said she hopes Pompeo "will seriously address" the lack of top State Department officials assigned to the Korean peninsula.

The president said he was nominating the CIA's deputy director, Gina Haspel, to take over for Pompeo at the intelligence agency.

After firing off a tweet that will have major implications for USA diplomacy, Trump traveled to California (with taco bowls as the in-flight meal) to tackle another foreign relations issue: The wall.

The reports also said the techniques included slamming him against a wall, sleep deprivation and forced nudity.

The officials said they are bracing more staff changes, citing Trump's comment to reporters Tuesday as he prepared to fly to California: "I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want". Tillerson's commission as secretary of State will end at midnight on March 31. Goldstein, who is Jewish, served as under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs and was a top spokesman for Tillerson.

As for Tillerson, he didn't mention Trump at all in a speech he gave about his impending departure.

Trump announced his decision on Twitter.

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On Pompeo, he said that they are 'much more aligned.

Tillerson cut short his trip to Africa.

She said "appointment should be a warning to allies of the United States in the UK, Europe and around the world to rethink their cooperation with an administration which has refused again and again to show respect for the values we all share".

If the US Senate confirms Haspel, she would be the first female director of the agency, but the historic significance of her nomination was immediately overshadowed by her reported link to the black site, where two suspected al-Qaida members were waterboarded. White House officials disputed that notion, and promptly fired Goldstein.

Mike Pompeo now awaits confirmation from the Senate.

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times. You can say that it could potentially portend a more hawkish approach on North Korea.

Foreign policy experts from Republican and Democratic administrations also questioned Trump's timing and choice, noting that Pompeo was known as a political partisan who strongly opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Rami Khouri, a senior fellow at the American University of Beirut, said Haspel's appointment was "in keeping" with previous actions by the Trump administration.

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