– US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo
– Tillerson had visited Kenya on Friday, March 9 and held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta
– According to US media reports, Trump had requested Tillerson to step aside forcing him to cut short his diplomatic tour of Africa
Hours after departing from Jomo Kenyatta International airport, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on Tuesday, March 13 fired by President Donald Trump.
TUKO.co.ke understands Trump nominated Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson.
The Washington post reported that Trump had requested Tillerson to step aside on Friday, March 9 forcing the now former Secretary of State to cut short his trip to Africa.
The embattled diplomat was forced to travel back to Washington DC on Monday, March 12 after a three day visit to Kenya where he was taken ill on the second day.
Trump claimed it was important to make the change now, as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as upcoming trade negotiations, three White House officials said.
In a tweet, Trump praised the new Secretary of State noting he was confident of his performance.
“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State,” Trump said.
“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," he added.
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as Secretary of State,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity. Serving alongside the great men and women of the CIA, the most dedicated and talented public servants I have encountered, has been one of the great honors of my life.” he added.
The former Secretary of State is yet to comment on the same.
Tillerson touched down in Nairobi on Friday, March 9 ahead of crucial bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The arrival of the top US official came shortly after Uhuru and Raila held a meeting at Harambee House.
Rex was later taken ill the following day forcing events he was scheduled to undertake on the same day to be postponed to Sunday, March 11.
“The secretary is not feeling well after a long couple days working on major issues back home such as North Korea and has canceled his events for the day,” spokesman of the State Department Steve Goldstein said.
ALSO WATCH: Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga: Full Speech at Harambee House on TUKO tv