“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry. “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.” – Josh Rogin [Washington Post]
WELCOME TO your new job, Secretary Rex Tillerson.
President Trump is learning that elections aren’t the only things that have consequences.
Patrick Kennedy’s resignation was a surprise to everyone at Foggy Bottom, according to reports.
Worth remembering that Republicans were never going to let Pat Kennedy (i.e. Mr. Benghazi & Mr. Emailgate) stay on as State Dept U/S
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) January 26, 2017
Reporting from Josh Rogin
Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
In addition, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr retired Jan. 20, and the director of the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Lydia Muniz, departed the same day. That amounts to a near-complete housecleaning of all the senior officials that deal with managing the State Department, its overseas posts and its people.
[…] 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.
It is no coincidence.
President Trump has insulted the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment that has served presidents of both parties and kept continuity in our diplomatic efforts across the globe.
The job of foreign service officers and our diplomats is difficult enough without a no-nothing blowhard in the White House who has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy, minus his much-lauded, and expansive, gut.
In other news, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto just canceled next week’s meeting with Trump.
DJT’s response was split. That is, his official White House Instagram account has no comment, while his “Real Donald Trump” Instagram account keeps it real, as the screen capture below reveals.
The president of Mexico said on Thursday that he was canceling his scheduled meeting with President Donald J. Trump in Washington next week, rejecting the visit after the new American leader ordered a border wall between the two nations.
The move by Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, brings to a head the simmering tensions that have been building for months between the two leaders. After calling for dialogue in the face of Mr. Trump’s vows to build a wall, Mr. Peña Nieto ultimately bowed to public pressure in Mexico to respond more forcefully to his northern neighbor.
Great Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with President Trump tomorrow. Parliament forced her hand this week after Trump started trumpeting torture. May said the UK will not go down that black road again.
This post has been edited.