Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo, whom President Trump tapped Tuesday to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, has an extraordinary résumé. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point. He served as a tank officer in Europe. He went to Harvard Law School.

He was a corporate lawyer who launched a successful aerospace business. He got elected to Congress as a Tea Party Republican from Kansas in 2010. For more than a year, he has run the CIA.

However, he has never been a diplomat, either by profession or temperament.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Tuesday morning in a tweet that followed a year of frequent tension between the two leaders.

The head of Russia's foreign spy service reportedly traveled to the U.S. earlier this month and met with top Trump administration intelligence officials, despite being on a U.S. sanctions blacklist.

In a tweet, Russia's embassy in Washington acknowledged the visit, citing the official ITAR-Tass news agency: "Sergey Naryshkin has visited the United States for consultations with #US counterparts on the struggle against terrorism ..."

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he has "every expectation" that Russia will try to disrupt midterm elections in November after U.S. intelligence uncovered interference in 2016.

In an interview with the BBC, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency was asked about concerns that the Kremlin might try again to influence the outcome of upcoming U.S. polls. He said: "I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity."

Americans often see provocative presidential tweets, like this one comparing the size of the nuclear buttons in the United States and North Korea:

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

The nation's top spy bosses scrambled to the White House early Thursday to urge President Trump to restate his support for a controversial surveillance law after he spent the morning trashing it on Twitter.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster all convened in the Oval Office with the president to urge him to row back his criticism. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also joined in by telephone.

If 2016 was the bravura opener and 2017 the tension-building second act, 2018 could deliver an action-packed conclusion to the Russia imbroglio.

Or this story might still be getting started.

Even without knowing every surprise the saga might bring in the new year, there are already enough waypoints on the calendar to confirm that 2018 will ratchet up the volume yet again.

Here are four big storylines to watch.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump brushed aside reports that he is considering replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, though multiple news outlets say Tillerson could be shown the door within weeks.

Pressed about those reports Thursday morning during an Oval Office meeting, Trump said only: "He's here. Rex is here."

The cryptic answer did little to dispel speculation that Tillerson's days as the country's top diplomat could be numbered.

A report that President Trump asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with a former NSA employee who denies Russian interference in the U.S. election has drawn fire from two ex-intelligence chiefs.

The claim that emails were "leaked" rather than "hacked" is at odds with the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, including Pompeo himself, who told the Senate Intelligence Committee as much in May.

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School announced Wednesday that Chelsea Manning would be one of its visiting fellows, but less than two days later, the school's dean withdrew the invitation.

Manning, a 29-year-old transgender woman, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted of leaking classified information.