- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The purge at the State Department isn’t stopping with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.

Stephen Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, was fired after putting out a statement apparently contradicting the White House’s version of why Mr. Tillerson was fired.

Mr. Trump said the parting of the ways was in the works for some time, but a statement issued by Mr. Goldstein Tuesday morning said Mr. Tillerson “did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason” for his dismissal.

“The secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security,” the Goldstein statement said. “He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers that he’s worked with throughout the world.”

Mr. Trump said he has not spoken directly to Mr. Tillerson in recent days, but White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly reportedly was in contact with Mr. Tillerson about his future twice in recent days. The ousted secretary of state cut short the final day of a weeklong African tour Friday to return to Washington, but was apparently not made aware that Mr. Trump was poised to fire him Tuesday.

Mr. Goldstein, who also served in the George W. Bush administration, had only been on the job at Foggy Bottom since December. Prior to that, he was a business consultant advising technology, energy and health care firms.

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