Administration

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

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President Trump on Tuesday praised CIA Director Mike Pompeo and highlighted his differences with the man Pompeo will be replacing as secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

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.

 

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson State Department Trump Cabinet
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