Mar 13, 2018

The many stories of how Tillerson found out he was fired

Donald Trump. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

There are many conflicting reports about how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he was fired. Tillerson "did not speak to the President [Tuesday] morning and is unaware of the reason" for his termination, said Steve Goldstein, the State Department's Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

He wasn't the only one to lose his job. The White House fired Goldstein for what they considered a contradictory account, per the AP. The State Department confirmed to Axios Goldstein is leaving.

How Tillerson was fired:

  • The Washington Post reported Tillerson found out last Saturday he was going to be replaced when Chief of Staff John Kelly called him.
  • The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker later walked their report back about the phone call this weekend, and clarified Tillerson was told his days were numbered, not that he was fired.
  • NBC News reported Tillerson officially found out he was fired when he read Trump’s tweet today.
  • Bloomberg and the AP reported Kelly told Tillerson on Friday that he would be fired, but that the timeline was uncertain. AP cited a White House official who "said Chief of Staff John Kelly had called Tillerson on Friday and again on Saturday to warn him that Trump was about to take imminent action if he did not step aside, and that a replacement had already been identified," the AP's Josh Lederman and Matt Lee write. "When Tillerson didn’t act, Trump fired him, that official said."

The State Department did not immediately offer a comment on Tillerson's firing.

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