Trump White House Fired Tillerson Aide for Statement Detailing Firing of Secretary of State

Steve Goldstein was reported fired for statement in his name saying that Tillerson was 'unaware of the reason' for his termination

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on March 13, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on March 13, 2018Credit: AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN

Two U.S. officials say the White House has fired one of Rex Tillerson’s top aides after he contradicted the official account of the secretary of state’s dismissal by President Donald Trump.

The officials said Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was informed of the move shortly after he released a statement in his name saying that Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his termination. Goldstein had also told reporters that Tillerson learned of his firing Tuesday morning from Trump’s tweet announcing he was nominating CIA chief Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about personnel moves. Goldstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

Goldstein' statement read:

"The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling," Goldstein said. "The secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world."

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