Top Tillerson aide fired after contradicting White House account of firing

The White House has reportedly fired an aide at the State Department who contradicted the White House account of President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE's firing of Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE.

The Associated Press first reported the firing of Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, citing officials. 

The firing was reportedly prompted by a statement from Goldstein on Tuesday, responding to Tillerson's firing, in which Goldstein said Tillerson did not speak with Trump before his firing and is "unaware" of the reason behind his dismissal.

The statement strongly suggested that Tillerson found out about his firing from Twitter — though it differs from published accounts of the decision that cited unnamed White House sources.

Goldstein also said Tillerson had "every intention of staying" before his firing.

Goldstein's account differed from the one a White House official told The Hill. In the White House official's version, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE told Tillerson on Friday that Trump would fire him. 

Trump said Tuesday he made the decision to oust Tillerson on his own and that Tillerson would be "much happier now."

Trump and Tillerson had repeatedly clashed, most famously after reports that the secretary of State referred to Trump in private as a "moron."
 
The White House announced later on Tuesday that Heather Nauert, previously the State Department's spokesperson, had been named as Goldstein's replacement.
 
Updated at 4:33 p.m.