As news of the latest Trump administration cull spreads, social media is alight with reactions and speculation. Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, while Gina Haspel will lead the CIA.
READ MORE: Trump fires Sec of State Tillerson, replaces him with CIA chief Pompeo
People are counting the many figures in Trump’s inner circle to have been axed in the last year. The list is long – prompting speculation about who will be next.
Many, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, voiced alarm at Pompeo’s replacement at the CIA. Haspel is known for running some of the CIA’s notorious black site torture prisons. Hers was in Thailand, and she was also involved in destroying video evidence of the ‘enhanced interrogation’ methods employed by the agency.
READ MORE: Torture master? Who is Gina Haspel, 1st woman to head CIA
Journalist Glenn Greenwald highlighted the fact that this won’t likely stop her being confirmed by Senate Democrats though. It’s noted that torture advocate John Brennan was confirmed as CIA head under President Barack Obama.
Republicans lauded the latest shake-up. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley expressed glee at Pompeo’s appointment. Haley and Pompeo have seemingly shared values with regards to supporting Israel and calling for escalation with Iran.
Others voiced concerns about Pompeo’s new position, particularly in light of his willingness to bring back waterboarding. Pompeo’s appointment also spells trouble for the Iran nuclear deal.
The former Kansas congressman has called for the nuclear agreement to be ripped up, and has compared Iran to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Pompeo’s record of threats against WikiLeaks and its editor, Julian Assange, don’t bode well for the whistleblowing organization either.
Of course, many connected dots between Tillerson’s firing and his statement on Monday that the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal was the work of Russia. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer expressed hope Pompeo would “turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin.”
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