The White House has reportedly fired an aide at the State Department who contradicted the White House account of President Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The Associated Press first reported the firing of Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, citing officials.
The firing was reportedly prompted by a statement from Goldstein on Tuesday, responding to Tillerson’s firing, in which Goldstein said Tillerson did not speak with Trump before his firing and is “unaware” of the reason behind his dismissal.
The statement strongly suggested that Tillerson found out about his firing from Twitter – though it differs from published accounts of the decision that cited unnamed White House sources.
Goldstein also said Tillerson had “every intention of staying” before his firing.
Goldstein’s account differed from the one a White House official told The Hill. In the White House official’s version, White House chief of staff John Kelly told Tillerson on Friday that Trump would fire him.
Trump said Tuesday he made the decision to oust Tillerson on his own and that Tillerson would be “much happier now.”
Trump and Tillerson had repeatedly clashed, most famously after reports that the secretary of State referred to Trump in private as a “moron.”
The White House announced later on Tuesday that Heather Nauert, previously the State Department’s spokesperson, had been named as Goldstein’s replacement.