After Donald Trump fired Rex Tillerson this morning, looks like he was still in the mood for bloodletting, so he also fired one of Tillerson’s top aides at the State Department, too, for gettin’ mouthy. Steve Goldstein, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs And Of Excessively Long Job Titles Too, was given the boot today after he publicly disputed the White House’s account of Tillerson’s departure.
You see, a “senior administration official” had said Trump gave Tillerson the news Friday. Another “senior White House official” later explained that John Kelly had let Tillerson know he’d be replaced, although that official didn’t specify when. And probably a third high school senior at the White House said Kelly told Gretchen that Rex was totally in Donnie’s Burn Book, but Rex didn’t even know because he was on spring break in Africa, and also Karen was telling everyone at soccer practice Rex has really bad B.O. that nobody would even tell him about because it was soooo embarrassing.
But Goldstein had to go and dispute all that, saying that Tillerson only learned this morning that he’d been fired when he saw Trump’s tweet. The AP reports
Goldstein had been in his position for only three months and had angered the White House with previous comments about Trump. On Tuesday, he issued a statement in his name saying that Tillerson had not spoken with Trump and was “unaware of the reason” for his dismissal. He also told reporters that Tillerson had learned of Trump’s decision with the president’s tweet.
Goldstein added that Gretchen is a plastic bitch who doesn’t know what she’s talking about and that she’s never going to make “fetch” happen.
The AP reports that Goldstein’s job will be filled, at least temporarily, by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, which seems appropriate even though Heathers is a totally different movie.
To recap: Tillerson got fired for saying the Russians killed a spy that everyone is sure the Russians killed (or not for saying that but instead for something else, maybe shooting an elephant, maybe calling Trump a fucking moron), then Goldstein got fired for saying Tillerson’s firing came pretty much out of nowhere, which is also what everyone is sure of. The next logical step is for a senior administration official to say Trump had been planning to fire Goldstein since shortly before he began working for Tillerson.
In other Tillersonian fallout, Donald Trump offered this perfectly iconic Trump observation on whether the Russians poisoned that former spy. He had to talk to Theresa May about it, but he guesses that’s the conclusion the British have come to:
Trump on whether or not Russia is behind the poisoning of a former spy in the UK: “As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be” pic.twitter.com/mcGrABjCpx
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 13, 2018
It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia, and I would certainly take that finding as fact […]
As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.
So once he gets the facts and decides whether he agrees with the facts (or more charitably, the Brits), he’ll condemn the Russians or whoever. Maybe it was the Chinese, or some 400-pound guy on his bed in New Jersey. Or if Vladimir Putin says it was the Jews, maybe it was the Jews who happen to have Russian citizenship. There were good people on both sides of the poisoning, is all he’s saying. Build the wall!
Now that the State Department purge is underway, Trump is expected to continue the momentum by firing Cat Stevens over that album, “Tea for the Tillerson,” which Trump has never liked.