White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of Secretary of State's dismissal




White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of Secretary of State's dismissal
White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of Secretary of State's dismissal  

Steve Goldstein, Rex Tillerson's top spokesman at the State Department, was fired Tuesday for contradicting the official administration account of Tillerson's firing, a White House official told NBC News.

A State Department official confirmed the firing of Goldstein, who was an Under Secretary of State, to NBC News, as well.

Goldstein had only been in post since Dec. 4.

Trump announced over Twitter on Tuesday that he was replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Goldstein had said soon afterward that Tillerson had not spoken directly about the move with the president.

"The Secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues," a statement issued by Goldstein had said.

"The Secretary did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted."

NBC News reported that Tillerson had learned of his firing from Trump's tweet.

Goldstein had been senior vice president of BP Global Solutions before joining the State Department.

Goldstein's dismissal was the just the latest in a series of firings Tuesday by the Trump administration.

In addition to Tillerson, Trump's personal assistant John McEntee, also was axed and removed from the White House for unspecified security reasons, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources.

McEntee immediately joined Trump's re-election campaign for 2020 as a senior adviser.

A CNN reporter tweeted Tuesday that McEntee was terminated because he is under investigation for "serious financial crimes" by the Department of Homeland Security.


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