State Dept. Official Fired For Statement On Tillerson’s Firing

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos after they met at the presidential palace in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. More than 100 social leaders and defenders of Ddhh have been killed during this year of peace agreement. Today marks the first year of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC-EP group (Photo by Daniel Garzon Herazo/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House on Tuesday fired a state department official who released a statement revealing that Rex Tillerson did not speak to President Donald Trump about his firing on Tuesday morning and that he was unaware of the reasons for his ouster, according to reports from the Associated Press, NBC News and CNN.

Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, released the statement Tuesday morning, calling into question whether the White House gave Tillerson a heads up ahead of Trump’s tweet announcing his replacement.

Two unnamed officials told the Associated Press that Goldstein was informed by the White House that he was fired shortly after issuing the statement.

The statement contradicted the White House narrative that Tillerson was informed of the decision on Friday. Several reports have indicated that Tillerson was informed by the White House on Friday to expect announcement concerning him, though it’s unclear just how detailed the warning was.

Goldstein confirmed his firing in a statement Tuesday.

“I was proud to speak on behalf of the Secretary of State to the American people and allies throughout the world, and this has been the honor of a lifetime. It’s within the purview, you are appointed by the administration and you are appointed for the time being. That is what is listed on your commission and it is determined by the White House who they want in these roles,” he said. “I don’t have regret, other than you always want to try to do more, but I feel proud of what we achieved and I am so impressed by the Secretary of State. He is truly a great man. I look forward to getting more rest and hopefully winning an indoor rowing competition.”

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Managing Editor:
Senior News Editor:
Assistant Editor:
Editor at Large:
Investigations Desk:
Front Page Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: