Ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein was also fired Tuesday, several news outlets report, after issuing a statement that said Rex Tillerson had not spoken with the president prior to being fired.

The backdrop: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last month that Goldstein was universally loathed within the White House and seen as openly anti-Trump. Several administration officials also told Swan they felt Goldstein had a history of exacerbating tensions between the White House and the State Department.

Goldstein's statement regarding Tillerson's ouster:

The Secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues. He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts... 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.

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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 19,172,505 — Total deaths: 716,327— Total recoveries — 11,608,417Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 4,902,692 — Total deaths: 160,394 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Trump floats executive action even if stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases.

General Motors tries to revive incendiary lawsuit vs. Fiat Chrysler

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is trying to revive an incendiary lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with explosive new allegations including bribes paid from secret offshore bank accounts and a union official acting as a double agent between the two automotive giants.

Why it matters: The extraordinary legal battle is occurring amid earth-shaking changes in the global auto industry that threaten to turn both litigants into dinosaurs if they aren't nimble enough to pivot to a future where transportation is a service, cars run on electrons and a robot handles the driving.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.