U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly ended a prolonged battle with his secretary of state, moving to replace Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday morning.
The newspaper reported that Trump asked Tillerson to step aside last week, ending a tense relationship and insults that went back and forth between the two men for months. Gina Haspel, currently deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, would replace Pompeo as director.
“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State,” Trump said in a statement to the Washington Post.
“Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.”
Pompeo has also expressed controversial views about climate change that challenge conventional wisdom and scientific evidence.
During last year's U.S. Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo said it was "ignorant, dangerous and absolutely unbelievable" to say climate change is a top national security threat, and declined to say if he agreed humans are responsible, according to E&E News.
Trump's feud with Tillerson spilled into the public last fall in the wake of media reports that the former executive from Exxon had described the president as a "moron."
Tillerson later issued a statement that described Trump as "smart" but he didn't deny calling the president a moron.