Less than 24 hours after Rex Tillerson, the outgoing US secretary of state, briskly rounded off his visit to five African countries, including Nigeria, President Donald Trump announced his dismissal on Twitter and was replaced with Mike Pompeo, director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Branded as a relentless voice of moderation in addressing global issues in the Trump administration, Tillerson, has been replaced with a radical former Republican congressman who is said to have introduced hard-line political stance to the CIA.
Pompeo, whom Trump has come to admire for his hard views, is yet a man of so many faces and colours.
A MAN OF ITALIAN ANCESTRY
With an Italian ancestry, Pompeo was born 54 years ago in California. Studied mechanical engineering and graduated in 1986 from the United States Military Academy as the best student. He served the US military in different capacity, after which he bagged a doctorate degree from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Married to Susan Pompeo, with a son, Nicholas, Pompeo attends Eastminster Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon and teaches the fifth-grade Sunday school class.
A RADICAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN
Pompeo wrote on Twitter after Barrack Obama, former US president was elected, “ I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” In 2011, as a Republican representative from Kansas, Pompeo was among the vocal opponents of Obama’s diplomacy with Teyran.
He was famous for chastising Hillary Clinton’s response to the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya when Clinton secretary of state.
Such tough views have, undoubtedly, endeared him to the president compared to Tillerson whose moderate ideas have pitched him against the president who wants a new team ahead of North Korea talks. On the other hand, aside his good relationship with president Trump, analyst said Pompeo might come with other appealing attributes that could make him better than his predecessor. While at CIA, Pompeo has won accolades for consulting agency’s professional staff, an idea that Tillerson has obviously eschewed.