You may already have seen this, but the State Department just lost a big chunk of its management team.
Ambassador Richard Boucher, who served as State Department spokesman for Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, said that while there’s always a lot of turnover around the time a new administration takes office, traditionally senior officials work with the new team to see who should stay on in their roles and what other jobs might be available. But that’s not what happened this time.
The officials who manage the building and thousands of overseas diplomatic posts are charged with taking care of Americans overseas and protecting U.S. diplomats risking their lives abroad. The career foreign service officers are crucial to those functions as well as to implementing the new president’s agenda, whatever it may be, Boucher said.
By itself, the sudden departure of the State Department’s entire senior management team is disruptive enough. But in the context of a president who railed against the U.S. foreign policy establishment during his campaign and secretary of state with no government experience, the vacancies are much more concerning.
CNN, on the other hand, claims that they were fired.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 26, 2017
It’s just so hard to tell whether the chaos is intentional or not. Is the Administration lying to paper over their embarrassment? Or are they merely swinging the wrecking ball around?
Regardless, I guess that Trump was telling the truth when he promised that he’d bring his business experience to the Presidency.
UPDATE: both of these things can be technically true. The officials all submitted letters of resignation as part of the transition, but some of them could’ve then walked off the job. In that sense, the Trump Administration ‘fired them’ by never offering to keep them on. As I indicated above, the specifics are less consequential than you might think.