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New Trump Sec of State Tillerson Cleans House With Massive Firings!

Sunday, February 19, 2017 15:51
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Rex Tillerson’s State Department became noticeably slimmer after staffers were laid off Thursday.

Many of the illustrious seventh-floor staffers, who worked for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were let go Thursday according to a report by CBS News. From Western Journalism

The firings took place while Tillerson was attending a G-20 meeting in Bonn, Germany, and marks the second round of high-profile firings at the State Department since President Trump’s inauguration.

Four career State Department officials were let go by the Trump administration at the end of January in an effort to clear out politically appointed officers. “As is standard with every transition, the outgoing administration, in coordination with the incoming one, requested all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation,” a spokesman said at the time.

It’s standard fare for staffers to shuffled in and out at the State Department during a transition of power, however, some fear that these cuts are more akin to a purge. There appears to be no intentions of replacing the vacant positions anytime soon.

Tom Countryman, who served as assistant secretary for non-proliferation before being let go last month, considers the vacancies at the State Department to be a worrisome development. “It is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You can’t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket,” Countryman said.

Countryman’s concerns echo the alarms sounded by many State Department officials after not a single diplomat was present in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week.

Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon was scheduled to attend one of the meetings with the Israeli prime minister, but was asked to leave to “allow for a more personal discussion” between Trump and Netanyahu.

But in a week marred by damaging leaks, which many speculate were caused by leftover Obama officials, perhaps the president’s reasoning for shutting out State Department diplomats is to curtail the risk of future leaks. State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond declined to answer when asked if Thursdays firings were politically motivated. Instead, he released a statement.

“As part of the transition from one administration to the next we continue to build out our team,” Hammond said. “The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats. We are appreciative to any American who dedicates their talents to public service.‎”


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