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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE said on Tuesday that he made the decision to oust Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington Turkey-Russia Idlib agreement: A lesson for the US 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 PompeoIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' 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.