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Trump highlights differences with Tillerson, says he's close to Cabinet he wants

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE on Tuesday praised CIA Director Mike PompeoMike Pompeo Sunday shows preview: Infrastructure expected to dominate as talks continue to drag The triumph and tragedy of 1989: Why Tiananmen still matters Pence slams Biden agenda in New Hampshire speech MORE and highlighted his differences with the man Pompeo will be replacing as secretary of State, Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues MORE.

In comments outside the White House, Trump said he was "close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want” with Tillerson exiting and Pompeo moving to a different role.

"I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect. We're always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good and that's what I need as secretary of State," Trump said. "I wish Rex Tillerson well."

After praising Gina Haspel, his pick to replace Pompeo at the CIA, Trump said, “I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”

“But I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great secretary of State. I have total confidence in him.”

Pompeo has been giving Trump briefings and had been rumored as a potential replacement for Tillerson, who frequently clashed with the president.  

Asked if he had discussed the change with Tillerson, Trump said: "I really didn't discuss it very much with him, honestly. I made that decision by myself."

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He then noted differences he had with Tillerson, who once reportedly referred to the president as a "moron" in private.

“When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was okay,” the president said of Tillerson.

“I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently. So we were really not thinking the same.”

The president also said that he believed Tillerson would be “much happier” leaving the State Department.