The White House has fired the Under Secretary of State for contradicting the White House on Tillerson’s firing:
BREAKING: Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 13, 2018
The firing was reportedly prompted by a statement from Goldstein on Tuesday, responding to Tillerson’s firing, in which Goldstein said Tillerson did not speak with Trump before his firing and is “unaware” of the reason behind his dismissal.
The statement strongly suggested that Tillerson found out about his firing from Twitter — though it differs from published accounts of the decision that cited unnamed White House sources.
That is what NBC news and other outlets were reporting. But according to the White House that’s not true at all:
WH official says chief of staff John Kelly called Tillerson Friday and again on Saturday. Both calls to Tillerson, the official says, warned that Trump was about to take imminent action if he did not step aside. When Tillerson didn't act, Trump fired him.— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 13, 2018
.@JohnRobertsFox: WH source tells Fox News John Kelly called Tillerson Friday to tell him POTUS wanted him to step aside. Tillerson asked if POTUS could wait for him to get back from his Africa trip to pull the trigger. Tillerson landed 4 am Andrews AFB. POTUS pulled trigger.— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) March 13, 2018
Even CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins didn’t think Goldstein’s statement made sense:
The State Department narrative that Tillerson is unaware of the reason for his firing seems dubious. Trump couldn't stand him, they disagreed on Iran, he was left out of North Korea decision, he called Trump a moron, John Kelly grew tired of him, he had no West Wing allies, etc.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 13, 2018
In related news, NY Times reporter Maggie Haberman says the notion that Trump has come unglued is not completely accurate:
The narrative of Trump unglued is not totally wrong but misses the reason why - he was terrified of the job the first six months, and now feels like he has a command of it.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 13, 2018
So now he is basically saying “I’ve got this, I can make the changes I want.”— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 13, 2018
Yeah that makes sense to me. He made some poor hiring decision on the outset and now that he’s more comfortable he’s correcting them. Of course, to be fair, he did ask Nikki Haley to be SOS first and she turned him down. But on the other hand, Bolton would have been an outstanding pick but Trump went with Tillerson.
As I said earlier, I’m glad Tillerson is gone. I’ll also be glad when Trump finally dumps McMaster. I keep hearing that Bolton is the one being looked at for that job and he’d be amazing. But given that Trump has passed over Bolton several times already….we’ll let’s just say I’ll believe it when I see it.