President Trump's ouster on Tuesday of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and his nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him was a matter of differing "personal chemistry" between Trump and each man, said former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
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“I think one of the issues here was, Rex met President Trump during the transition, and literally five or seven days after, they decided to make him secretary of state,” Scaramucci, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Tuesday. “They didn’t really have a personal chemistry.”
“[Pompeo] has a very good personal chemistry with President Trump,” said Scaramucci, whose dismissal from the White House after 10 days made him the shortest serving communications chief in U.S. history. “These are two guys who get each other. My guess is there’s going to be a very high comfort level between the president and his new secretary of state.”
For his part, Trump said he and Pompeo share a very similar thought process and are “always on the same wavelength.”
There were, however, policy differences between the president and Tillerson. While speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president called Tillerson a “good man” but said they disagreed on major diplomacy issues, citing the Iran nuclear deal as an example. Trump wanted to dismantle the deal entirely, while Tillerson favored amending it.
“Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time,” Trump said. “We got along quite well, but we disagreed on things.”
The relationship between the president and his chief diplomat has becoming increasingly tense over the past year. In October, reports emerged that Tillerson called Trump a “moron." Although Tillerson issued a statement in which he called Trump “smart," he wouldn’t directly deny the reports.
A senior White House official also told Fox News the president wanted to make the administrative change ahead of his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.