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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE on Tuesday praised CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Latest on Korea talks | Trump says summit results 'very exciting!' | Congress to get Space Force plan in February | Trump asked CIA about silent bombs Pompeo: US ready to 'immediately' resume talks with North Korea READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE and highlighted his differences with the man Pompeo will be replacing as secretary of State, Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonPompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story Rubio defends Haley over curtains story: Example of media pushing bias 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."


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.