Tuesday morning proved to be an eventful one for the President Trump-driven news cycle, as State Secretary Rex Tillerson was formally let go from his cabinet position at the White House, and Trump’s longtime personal assistant, John McEntee was abruptly fired and removed from the White House. As much as this all may seem, however, the news cycle wasn’t done with Tillerson — for a statement issued by his undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Steve Goldstein indicated the firing was a complete surprise. As a result of these contradictory remarks, Goldstein was promptly fired.
“The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security,” read Goldstein’s statement. “The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason [for his firing].” In addition to the undersecretary’s official comments, previous reports also seemed to indicate that the ex-State Secretary had initially found out about his firing via Twitter. Yet President Trump later told the press that he and Tillerson had spoken at length about the latter’s departure, saying the former ExxonMobil CEO would be “much happier” out of office.
As a result of the apparent contradiction in statements, the Associated Press reports that the White House fired Goldstein:
The officials said Steve Goldstein… 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