As reported earlier, Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was dismissed and replaced Tuesday after being called back early from his trip to Africa.
As speculation swirled around the firing, CNN latched on to one salacious detail that appears to be, in fact, false. The chyron shouted the claim that a state official said Tillerson didn’t know he was being replaced until Trump tweeted about it on Tuesday morning.
Rex Tillerson found out he was fired by President Trump's tweet on Tuesday morning, according to Steve Goldstein, undersecretary for public diplomacy https://t.co/TYsY77tQUx pic.twitter.com/YME9uMvTXI
— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2018
However, the story as often is the case, may not be that sexy. A conflicting report from the Washington Post says administration officials — not Trump himself — asked Tillerson on Friday, March 9, to step aside.
Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled diplomat cut short a trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.
Tillerson reportedly still doesn’t know the reason he was fired, which in itself is noteworthy as Trump has initiated this upset at a critical time with looming talks with North Korea on the agenda.
However, the truth of how Tillerson found out and when, while still newsworthy, doesn’t appear to be the best episode of The Apprentice: White House Edition some were hoping for.
Update: Another twist as speculation over when Tillerson found out he was fired and how. Although, it’s hard to imagine John Kelly calling up and telling a cabinet member to watch for a tweet. But, then, this is the Twitter presidency.