State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein has been fired from the State Department just hours after his boss, now former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was dismissed. During his time at the State Department, Goldstein had become a spokesman for Tillerson.
CBS News reports that the White House called Goldstein Tuesday morning to tell him that he was “no longer needed.”
After Tillerson was fired this morning, Goldstein released a statement which read: “The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world. The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.”
Goldstein is also the one who told CNN that Tillerson learned about his firing from the President Donald Trump’s tweet.
Tillerson was fired from his role at the State Department Tuesday morning, and President Trump has announced that he intends to nominate CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson.
Goldstein was only Under Secretary of State of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for a few months. He was sworn in on December 4, 2017, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. His departure means that there is only one permanent under secretary left at the State Department out of a possible six. Nominees for these other positions are still waiting for Senate approval.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Goldstein had scoffed at the idea that Tillerson would leave the State Department: “The secretary will be here. As a matter of fact I know there was a period of time last year when people euphemistically referred to the Secretary of State as 'Rexit,' a play on Brexit, and with a belief that he was leaving. He was never leaving the post. He serves at the pleasure of the president and I think...I'd like to let people know that he is the secretary of stay.”
As of the writing of this article, the State Department has not yet updated the biographies for either Tillerson or Goldstein on its website.
In addition to Tillerson and Goldstein, President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was fired and escorted out of the White House this morning.
This story is developing and will be updated