Trump fires Tillerson, reorgs cabinet via tweet

The White House has reportedly also fired a Tillerson aide who contradicted the story of how the secretary of state was dismissed.

CNET staff
2 min read

President Donald Trump has shuffled the deck in his cabinet again -- and he did it via Twitter.

Earlier this morning, Trump took to the social network to announce he was ousting Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA head Mike Pompeo. Pompeo's slot at the CIA will be filled by Gina Haspel, currently a deputy director at the agency. Pompeo's appointment as secretary of state requires confirmation by the Senate.

The tweet, embedded above, came at 8:44 a.m. ET, shortly before Trump departed for a visit to California.

Was the tweet the first news of the shake-up for some or all of the people involved? The Washington Post reported the basics shortly beforehand, according to CBS News

State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein said, "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."

Goldstein said Tillerson wasn't aware of the reason he'd been removed and was "grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling."

Several hours after Goldstein's comments were made, the White House fired him for contradicting its official account of the dismissal, according to CBS News.

Later, Goldstein issued a statement via the State Department: "Serving as the under secretary of state has been the honor of a lifetime. I am grateful to the president and to Secretary Tillerson for having had this opportunity. Being able to serve the American people is an undertaking I have greatly enjoyed."

The White House wasn't immediately available for comment. 

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated. Check out CBS News for additional live coverage.

First published March 13, 8:46 a.m. PT
Updates, 9:34 a.m.:
Adds news of Goldstein's dismissal; 10:06 a.m.: Adds statement from Goldstein about his departure.

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