Mar 13, 2018

State Dept.: Tillerson "is unaware of the reason" for his ouster

Tillerson and Trump. Photo: Chris Kleponis, Pool via Bloomberg

The State Department said that Rex Tillerson did not speak to President Trump before the tweeted announcement that Mike Pompeo would replace Tillerson as Secretary of State, adding that Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" for his dismissal. State added that Tillerson "had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security."

How it went down: According to the Washington Post, Tillerson abruptly returned to Washington from a five-day Africa trip after Trump fired him on Friday. But senior State Department officials have been pushing back on that narrative, stating that Tillerson found out about his dismissal via Trump's tweet, per NBC News' Andrea Mitchell.

The full statement from State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein...

"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 ministries he has worked with throughout the world.
The Secretary did not speak to the President 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.
We wish Secretary Designate Pompeo well."

More on Goldstein, via Axios' Jonathan Swan:

Go deeper

Private equity returns fell behind stocks over the past decade

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. private equity returns fell just below S&P 500 returns for the 10-year period ending last June, according to a report released Monday morning by Bain & Company.

Why it matters: Private equity markets itself as beating public markets over long-term time horizons, and usually providing an illiquidity premium to boot. These new performance figures not only dent such claims, but provide fresh ammunition to critics of public pension investment in private equity funds.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.