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Top State Dept aide fired after comment on Tillerson sacking

AFP  |  Washington 

One of the US State Department's most senior officials was sacked today after his comments on the firing of of State appeared to contradict the version of events.

"This has been the honor of a lifetime and I am grateful to the and the for this opportunity. I look forward to getting some rest," of State told AFP.

and State Department officials confirmed that had decided that Goldstein had to go, on the heels of an earlier abrupt decision to fire Tillerson.

No reason was given for the decision, but earlier Goldstein -- who was for public affairs and public diplomacy -- had told reporters that Tillerson was not expecting to be ousted.

Goldstein's dismissal must also have been at short notice, as he had been due to brief reporters within an hour of the announcement.

Trump announced Tillerson's departure in a tweet earlier in the day, just as the 65-year-old former was returning from a trip to and preparing for a week of meetings.

Afterwards, Goldstein first tweeted and then issued a statement declaring that Trump had not called Tillerson prior to the announcement and that the was "unaware" of the reasons for his departure.

"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 said.

Trump, by contrast, had portrayed the decision as somewhat mutual and long in the making, saying: "Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 22:50 IST