President Trump’s announcement Tuesday morning that Rex Tillerson was OUT as Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was IN surprised everyone – including Tillerson himself, according to a statement from his top deputy.
Some media outlets reported that Tillerson found out just like everyone else – from the president’s Twitter post. However, the Washington Post reported that “Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.”
The announcement of Tillerson’s ouster was posted just moments before President Trump left to go to California to view the border wall prototypes.
Tillerson’s deputy, Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, released the following statement:
“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.
“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.”
WOW: Tillerson had “every intention of staying… did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason,” according to Under Sec of State Goldstein. pic.twitter.com/3i4PDIE4fT
— Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) March 13, 2018