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State Department spokesman fired for statement contradicting White House on Tillerson firing

By: Washington Examiner
March 13, 2018 Updated: March 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, to travel to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is beginning a two day trip to California and St. Louis. Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday and said he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, in a major staff reshuffle just as Trump dives into high-stakes talks with North Korea. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The White House fired a top aide to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday for suggesting in an unusual statement that Tillerson learned of his own replacement via Twitter, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Less than an hour after President Trump announced his decision to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, State Department spokesman Steve Goldstein told reporters the following:

"The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security. He will miss his colleagues at the State Department and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world."

Goldstein added Tillerson "did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason" for his firing. "But he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling," he said.

In a statement following his dismissal, Goldstein said he was happy to have served.

“This has been the honor or a lifetime,” Steve Goldstein, the under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, told Buzzfeed Tuesday. “I wish everyone well,” Goldstein said. “I look forward to getting more rest and perhaps winning an indoor rowing competition.”

Goldstein was confirmed unanimously to the post in December and took over as Tillerson’s top communications aide.

Read more at washingtonexaminer.com.

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