Truth & Action – Just this week, the Washington Post, which has established itself as one of the most virulently anti-Trump papers in the country, claimed that the brass of the State Department has chosen to resign rather than work under a Trump administration, gleefully reporting that the department’s entire senior staff are leaving in droves:
“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.
Kennedy will retire from the Foreign Service at the end of the month, officials said. The other officials could be given assignments elsewhere in the Foreign Service.
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.”
What the Post lied about, however, was that the staff didn’t resign but that they were fired, as the White House prepares to place figures more attuned to its agenda:
From CNN’s full story on the matter:
All four, career officers serving in positions appointed by the President, submitted letters of resignation per tradition at the beginning of a new administration.
The letters from the White House said that their resignations were accepted and they were thanked for their service.
The White House usually asks career officials in such positions to stay on for a few months until their successors are confirmed.
“Any implication that that these four people quit is wrong,” one senior State Department official said. “These people are loyal to the secretary, the President and to the State Department. There is just not any attempt here to dis the President. People are not quitting and running away in disgust. This is the White House cleaning house.”
“These positions are political appointments, and require the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm them in these roles. They are not career appointments but of limited term,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner. “Of the officers whose resignations were accepted, some will continue in the Foreign Service in other positions, and others will retire by choice or because they have exceeded the time limits of their grade in service.”
The “entire senior management” team suffering this “mass” obliteration consists of Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, Ambassador Gentry O. Smith of the Office of Foreign Missions, and most notably Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who tried to drag the FBI into Hillary Clinton’s cover-ups.
Kennedy has also been accused of playing a role in the Benghazi disaster, although the State Department’s internal review “downplayed” his role in the “decision-making that led to the inadequate security posture in Benghazi,” as the Washington Examiner recalls. The Examiner also notes his “you can’t fire me, I quit” retirement was announced yesterday, so treating it like big news today is somewhat disingenuous.
The Trump campaign said that Kennedy had to go, and called (in vain, of course) on Hillary Clinton to speak out against him, as well. This is not some shocking walkout by a defiant Resistance speaking truth to power – it is President Trump fulfilling a campaign promise on his fourth day in office.
Also, while most news reports described the four outgoing officials as holding their offices under both Republican and Democrat administrations, to promote the impression they were nonpartisan fixtures of the bureaucracy who just couldn’t handle the arrival of President Trump, that is really only true of Kennedy, and he was only in position for two years before the Obama administration began. Joyce Barr was appointed in 2011, while Michele Bond and Gentry Smith were appointed in 2015.
The Hill reports that these four joined “a number of other officials who have departed since President Trump took office last week,” but goes on to cite only two names: Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr, who retired, and Bureau of Overseas Building Operations Lydia Muniz.
SF Source Truth and Action Jan. 2017