- White House chief of staff John Kelly was reportedly upset by news coverage of the turmoil surrounding Rex Tillerson’s ouster.
- That news follows what has been a week of headlines shining a new light on the chaos that continues to embroil the Trump administration.
- Kelly yelled at the TV while aboard Air Force One with President Donald Trump.
White House chief of staff John Kelly was reportedly upset by the mixed messages behind the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.
While aboard Air Force One with President Donald Trump, Kelly reportedly yelled at the television screen at the news coverage that centered around the miscommunication behind Tillerson’s firing, according to a source cited in a Politico report.
Kelly had told Tillerson of his imminent firing on Friday, but was told by Tillerson to delay the decision until he returned back from his trip to Africa, according to a White House aide in Politico’s report.
But following Trump’s tweet announcing his decision to replace Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, a State Department official issued what appeared to be a conflicting statement – one that alleged Tillerson had been caught off-guard by the decision.
“The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security,” undersecretary for public diplomacy Steve Goldstein reportedly said in a statement.
“The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason,” Goldstein’s statement continued.
Goldstein was later fired by the White House.
On Tuesday, Trump suggested that the decision behind Tillerson’s firing was one that was already in the works: “Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things.”
Following the announcement, Tillerson delivered a farewell speech in the State Department briefing room and praised his colleagues and other agencies.
“The world needs selfless leaders like these, ready to work with long-standing allies, new emerging partners and allies who now are struggling as democracies and in some cases are dealing with human tragedy,” Tillerson said.
During his tenure, Tillerson has often clashed with various White House officials over economic and national security decisions, including UN ambassador Nikki Haley and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.