John Kelly just blew a lid aboard Air Force One with Trump

This morning, President Trump took to Twitter to inform the country – as well as the Secretary of State himself – that Rex Tillerson would be replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Per Chief of Staff John Kelly, Tillerson was told on Friday that the president planned to dismiss him. However, with the resulting news coverage focusing – yet again – on a White House in disarray, Kelly was reportedly “yelling at a television screen aboard Air Force One as he took off for California with the president.

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While high-level aides knew that Tillerson’s firing was imminent, they did not know exactly when it would occur. According to Politico, “Trump informed some associates of his decision on Monday evening, telling them that he wanted Tillerson gone — and his successor, CIA director Mike Pompeo, in — before any meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a summit Trump agreed to in another surprise move last week after an invitation extended via South Korean diplomats.”

More from Politico:

“Kelly informed Tillerson of the president’s decision in a brief conversation on Friday, according to two White House aides. Tillerson, then still overseas, asked that the president hold off until he returned to the country.”

Despite these accounts from the White House, the State Department maintained that Tillerson only learned of his firing via Trump’s tweet and was “unclear” as to why.

Per Politico:

The State Department, however, had another version of events: It said in a public statement that Tillerson only learned he’d been fired from the president’s tweet Tuesday morning — and that he remained unclear about the reason why. The White House moved swiftly on Tuesday to fire Steve Goldstein, the State Department official who issued the statement contradicting their official line.

Learning of their firing via tweet is not unprecedented in Trump’s White House. Kelly himself learned of his own job as Chief of Staff after Trump tweeted about the dismissal of his predecessor, Reince Priebus.

While Kelly may try to blame the media for reporting on a White House in a constant state of confusion, he should really blame the only person truly responsible: Trump.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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