An aide to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been fired along with his boss after releasing an official statement that contradicted the White House’s version of events on Tillerson’s dismissal.
Steve Goldstein, who was the State Department’s Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, was fired hours after Tillerson, The Associated Press reports.
Goldstein put out a statement Tuesday morning saying, “The Secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues. He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and enjoyed working together with the Department of Defense in an uncommonly robust relationship.”
Goldstein’s statement added, “The Secretary did not speak to the President this morning 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 and not to be regretted.”
Goldstein was sworn into his position in December 2017, according to the State Department’s website.
“Mr. Goldstein is a communications and branding executive who has led external affairs at the highest levels of business and government,” Goldstein’s bio states. “Before becoming Under Secretary, he was Senior Vice President of BP Global Solutions, where he advised the founders of two start-up technology companies in the energy and health care fields on marketing strategy and staff management.”
Goldstein, a Nashville, Tennessee, native who graduated from the University of Arizona, also had experience in politics, according to his bio.
“During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Mr. Goldstein served as an Assistant to the Secretary and the Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He joined the Bush Administration after serving for eight years as a press secretary and chief of staff to several members of Congress,” the State Department’s website says.
Axios’ Jonathan Swan tweeted Tuesday morning after Goldstein released the statement on Tillerson’s firing, “Some context: Steve Goldstein is loathed inside the White House and regarded as openly anti-Trump, as we’ve reported. (Which is ironic given he’s a political appointee.)”