Trump: I made decision to oust Tillerson 'by myself'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE said on Tuesday that he made the decision to oust Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE on his own, and that Tillerson would be "much happier now."

"I made that decision by myself. Rex wasn't, as you know, in this country," Trump said. Tillerson returned to Washington on Tuesday after a trip to Africa.

"As far as Rex Tillerson is concerned, I very much appreciate his commitment and his service and I wish him well," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "He's a good man."

Trump's comments came minutes after he abruptly announced that he had replaced Tillerson with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin's request to question Americans MORE. He said that he and Pompeo are "always on the same wavelength."

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"Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect," Trump said of Pompeo. "We are always on the same wavelength. The relationship is very, very good, and that's what I need as secretary of State."

Updated at 11:05 a.m.