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.