UPDATE 1:40 P.M. EST: Two senior administration officials said the four top State Department management officials were actually asked to leave by the Trump administration in an effort to “clean house,” CNN reports.
According to the officials’ account, the staff sent in resignation notices after they were reportedly sent letters by the White House saying that their public service was no longer needed. One senior State Department official said:
“Any implication that that these four people quit is wrong. These people are loyal to the secretary, the President and to the State Department. There is just not any attempt here to dis the President. People are not quitting and running away in disgust. This is the White House cleaning house.”
The State Department’s acting spokesman, Mark Toner, said in a statement:
“These positions are political appointments, and require the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm them in these roles. They are not career appointments but of limited term. Of the officers whose resignations were accepted, some will continue in the Foreign Service in other positions, and others will retire by choice or because they have exceeded the time limits of their grade in service.”
Donald Trump is the reason we can’t have nice things.
Drumpf’s newly-appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was getting all settled into his new digs on Wednesday… when the State Department’s ENTIRE senior-level management team RESIGNED!!
This is unprecedented!!
According to the Washington Post, David Wade, former chief of staff for John Kerry called the housecleaning:
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate. Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”
So who bailed?
A number of people who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, including Patrick Kennedy who was in the running to become Tillerson’s right-hand man.
Kennedy has been in that position for the past 9 years and has been helping with the Trump transition… but walked out unexpectedly with three of his top officials: Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, and Director of the Office of Foreign Missions Gentry O. Smith.
Not to mention, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr announced his retirement on January 20, and he was quickly followed by the director of the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Lydia Muniz, who left the same day.
We guess these public servants have had ENOUGH! We can’t blame them!
But… we are a little, OK a lot, worried about who will fill those spots. Scott Baio still hasn’t gotten a position in Trump’s cabinet after all…
To learn more about how this drastic change will affect where the State Department goes from here, click HERE.
[Image via Carrie Devorah/WENN.]