Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.
Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me.
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.
“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.”
On the one hand it is a little gratifying to see government employees with too much integrity to work for Putin's puppet, but on the other it is somewhat terrifying as these folks do a very important and challenging job that will now be left undone unless Trump can find equally experienced folks to replace them with.
In other words the job will be left undone.
By the way according to two senior Trump Administration officials these officials were asked to leave and did not resign in protest.
Just so you know my baseline stance on everything that has to do with the Trump administration is that they are established liars, so any contradictory version of events I hear is the one that I am most likely going to accept as true.
This may seem unfair since NOBODY lies all of the time, but to me there is really no choice considering what we know about Trump and his subordinates, so unless they have corroborating evidence provided by a trustworthy source, I am going to assume they are full of shit.