U.S. First Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on April 1 became an Acting Secretary of State on April 1. He will stay in office until the nominee for the post of State Secretary, Mike Pompeo, passes the approval.

"Deputy Secretary John Sullivan is an experienced leader who has earned the trust and respect of his colleagues and the White House. As he assumes the title of Acting Secretary of State today, the State Department will be in steady hands as Mike Pompeo moves through the nomination process," the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert tweeted.

As UNIAN reported earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump moved to replace U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, and had tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

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Differences over how to deal with North Korea's nuclear challenge were a key factor in President Donald Trump's decision to replace Rex Tillerson as U.S. secretary of state, according to sources familiar with the internal deliberations.

Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including when the former secretary of state's comments about Russia following the Skripal poisoning appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.