Another sacking after Tillerson, he says 'looking forward to rest'

Steve Goldstein was one of the US State Department's most senior officials. Photograph:( Twitter )

AFP Washington, DC, USA Mar 13, 2018, 04.52 PM (IST)

One of the US State Department's most senior officials was sacked on Tuesday after his comments on the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to contradict the White House version of events.

"This has been the honor of a lifetime and I am grateful to the president and the secretary for this opportunity. I look forward to getting some rest," Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told AFP.

"The secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted," Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein tweeted. "We wish Secretary-Designate Pompeo well," Goldstein -- who is undersecretary of state for public affairs and public diplomacy -- said, in a series of tweets from his official account.

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"The secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues. He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts," he said.

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"The secretary will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and enjoyed working together with the Department of Defense in an uncommonly robust relationship," he added, in a nod to Tillerson's close working relationship with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

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Story highlights

Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein's sacking came after his comments on the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to contradict the White House version of events