Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is out, and his top aide Steve Goldstein is going out with him. Why? Because he went to the public and contradicted the White House’s account of Tillerson’s firing. You see, Goldstein made it sound like Tillerson didn’t see this coming and only learned of his fate through Trump’s tweet.
White House officials dispute this. They say John Kelly informed Tillerson last FRIDAY that he would be replaced, but he didn’t give him a specific date.
Goldstein publicly contradicted the White House account of how Tillerson was fired on Tuesday morning.
Goldstein said Tillerson was officially notified he’d been fired from a tweet from President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning, and in a statement, said Tillerson had “every intention of remaining.”
A senior administration official said Trump asked Tillerson to step aside on Friday and a senior White House official later clarified that chief of staff John Kelly told Tillerson that he would be replaced, but did not specify the timing.
I didn’t think it made much sense. I wrote about it in the original story earlier. It was weird, because everyone was making it seem like Tillerson was completely blindsided, but President Trump said he and Tillerson had been talking about this for quite some time. It was a long time coming.
The good news? It doesn’t sound like there are any hard feelings or anything.
“We were not really thinking the same,” Trump said of Tillerson. “With Mike Pompeo, we have a similar thought process.”
President Trump praises nominee to replace Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo: "we're always on the same wavelength."
"Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time, we got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things." pic.twitter.com/4U1m8AbovQ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 13, 2018
Goldstein seems to be going out with grace as well.
“This has been an honor of a lifetime and I’m grateful to the secretary and the President for this opportunity. I wish everyone well and look forward to getting more rest and perhaps winning an indoor rowing competition. We will see what happened next,” Goldstein said in statement to CNN.
Ah, good for him.
I don’t really like the revolving door either, but at least this isn’t looking messy. People– minus Omarosa– are bowing out with class and tact. (Now watch Tillerson dump all over Trump in like, two minutes.)