The White House has fired Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of public affairs at the State Department, hours after replacing his boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
According to reports, the decision was made because Goldstein contradicted President Trump’s account of Tillerson’s firing when he stated that the former Exxon Mobile CEO was “unaware of the reason” he was being let go.
BREAKING: Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal.— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 13, 2018
He also said Tillerson learned of his dismissal on Twitter, where Trump publicly announced it Tuesday morning and said CIA Chief Mike Pompeo would be replacing him.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Trump wrote.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Tillerson, Goldstein argued, had “every intention of remaining… [he] did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason” for his termination.
Trump said, however, that "Rex and I have been talking about this a long time. We — we got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently. So we were not really thinking the same,” Trump explained Tuesday.
“With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well. Rex is a very good man. I like Rex a lot. I really appreciate his commitment and his service. And I’ll be speaking to Rex over a long period of time.”