Rex Tillerson, left, and President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
Rex Tillerson, left, and President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

Washington — US President Donald Trump says he has replaced US secretary of state Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo, and has tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

The replacement represents the biggest shake-up of the Trump cabinet so far and had been expected since October, when reports surfaced about a falling out between Trump and Tillerson, who left his position as CEO of Exxon Mobil to join the administration.

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

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state’s comments about Russia appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.

Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Trump announced he would meet North Korea’s leader and become the first sitting US president to do so.

"Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA, will become our new secretary of state. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!" Trump said on Twitter.