The U.S. State Department contradicted the White House on the surprise firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Trump fired Tillerson via Twitter:
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
A senior White House official told ABC News that Trump fired Tillerson on March 9, but the State Department says Trump never spoke to Tillerson personally about the decision.
Steve Goldstein, the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, released a statement:
The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason… 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 ministers he has worked with throughout the world.
Trump also fired his personal assistant John McEntee who was escorted out of the White House for an unspecified security issue on March 12, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The Trump presidential campaign said that McEntee will join the 2020 effort as a senior adviser for campaign operations.