Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
The Washington Post reports that: "Trump ousts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, will replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo."
This is sparking some risk aversion with USD/JPY dropping to 106.75 from 107.00.
This is a move that's been rumoured for some time. What I don't think the market will necessarily like is a hawk like Pompeo taking over. Pompeo is especially aggressive on North Korea and Iran.
Update: Trump now confirms it.
Haspel was the deputy director of the CIA, but is a controversial figure because she ran a CPI black site in Thailand where al Qaeda members were tortured.
Surely it's coincidental that just yesterday, Tillerson told the New York Times that the poisoning of a Russian spy in Britain was "an egregious act" and that it "appears that it clearly came from Russia."
"This is very, very concerning to me and others, that there seems to be a certain unleashing of activity that we don't fully understand what the objective behind that is. And if in fact this attack in the U.K. is the work of the Russian government, this is a pretty serious action," he said.
He also said the act would "certainly trigger a response" from the White House.
For the less-conspiratorial types, a senior official cited by the WSJ said the move came now because Trump didn't want it to happen in the middle of discussions with North Korea.
The Washington Post also said he was asked on Friday to step down and that's why he returned home from Africa. At the time, the White House said he was ill.
The Associated Press, citing a Tillerson aide said Trump never explained to Tillerson reason he was fired, and Tillerson had wanted to stay in job.