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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.

Caitlin Owens 7 hours ago
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Congress doesn't love the spending bill, but it'll pass anyway

Congressional leaders
Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul Ryan touted the defense spending increase, Sen. Rand Paul angrily tweeted about arcane government spending, and Democrats shook their head at the lack of gun control measures. But most members of Congress are accepting the omnibus spending bill for what it is: A giant collection of what has to get done to keep the government functioning, while mustering enough votes to pass.

Why it matters: This is a $1.3 trillion dollar bill affecting every branch of government that will pass mostly because it has to. Members voted/will vote on it without really reading it, as it was released Wednesday night and must pass the Senate by midnight.

Ina Fried 12 hours ago
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Craigslist pulls personal ads after passage of sex-trafficking bill

Craigslist site
Craigslist site, with personals still listed as an option. Screenshot: Axios

Online classified site Craigslist has pulled its entire personal ad section after Congress passed a new sex-trafficking bill that puts more liability on Web sites.

Why it matters: Smaller tech companies and advocates for sex workers had feared a chilling effect if the bill becomes law.