ADMINISTRATION CHANGES COMING
A knowledgeable Trump administration official tells Inside the Ring that major high-level changes are coming in January.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has shown himself to be one of President Trump’s most loyal aides, is slated to take over as secretary of state from Rex W. Tillerson.
The likely switch means U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley will remain at her post in New York, where she has won high marks from Mr. Trump as a competent envoy to the international organization.
Mr. Pompeo has been leading efforts at CIA to focus the intelligence agency on the North Korean threat and plugging leaks of information. He also has engaged in extensive international travel as part of intelligence liaison activities around the world.
The opening at CIA headquarters is expected to be filled by former Navy SEAL and retired Vice Adm. Bob Harward, a former Central Command deputy commander who earlier this year turned down an offer to be White House national security adviser after NSC adviser Michael Flynn left the position.
A spokesman Mr. Harward, currently an executive at Lockheed Martin, declined to comment. A CIA spokesman also declined comment.
Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, also is said to be interested in taking the CIA post in January.
Mr. Tillerson is said to have tipped the scales in favor of his replacement last month when it was reported he called the president “a moron” and then refused to deny the name-calling episode during a major television appearance.
The former Exxon Mobil chairman has had a rocky tenure at Foggy Bottom, with critics saying he has been turning over key foreign policymaking roles to State Department bureaucrats and others who do not share Mr. Trump’s America First agenda.