Entire State Department Senior Management Team Fired By Trump Admin

"These are very difficult people to replace," said David Wade, former State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry.

UPDATE: Officials reportedly told CNN Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott that the four officials mentioned in the story ahead were, in fact, fired by the Trump administration. Jim Sciutto, CNN's chief national security correspondent, tweeted the news.

The senior management State Department employees were sent letters from the White House detailing their terminations, Sciutto says.

An opinion piece was just published today by The Washington Post, in which writer Josh Rogin revealed a "mass exodus" by senior management officials in the State Department. The foreign service officers purportedly don't want to stay for President Donald Trump's term. 

Among the officials resigning are Patrick Kennedy, longtime undersecretary for management, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Ann Barr, and Director of the Office of Foreign Missions Gentry O. Smith. They all served during Republican and Democratic administrations.

Along with a couple of other senior-level retirements, Rogin is calling it a "near-complete housecleaning" of officials that are responsible for managing the State Department and its overseas posts and people.  

Speaking on diplomatic security and consular affairs, David Wade, former State Department chief of staff said, "You can least afford a learning curve in these areas where issues can quickly become matters of life and death. The muscle memory is critical. These retirements are a big loss. They leave a void. These are very difficult people to replace."

Furthermore, Wade is calling it "the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember."

"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," Wade said.

Note, however, that one senior State Department official said that submitting letters of resignation is "required" for any job assigned by the president, which also requires the go-ahead by the Senate. These are identified as Presidential Appointments with Senate confirmation (or PAS) positions.

The official said, "No officer accepts a PAS position with the expectation that it is unlimited. And all officers understand that the president may choose to replace them at any time. These officers have served admirably and well. Their departure offers a moment to consider their accomplishments and thank them for their service. These are the patterns and rhythms of the career service."

The caveat? Usually, senior officials work with the new team to see who should stay or leave for another available role, said Ambassador Richard Boucher, but that hasn't happened.

Bottom line: No one seems to want to work for Trump. 

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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