Friday, February 17
Tillerson clears out almost an entire floor of staff at State Dept. -- the top floor
Now, now, calling it a bloodbath is unkind. The bloodbath headline, from the New York Post, reflects a view of the layoffs which is very different from the one in the CBS report that broke the story. Both reports are helpful, but here I'll run with the Post one after quoting just this much from CBS:
These [laid off] staffers in particular are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered.
Inside the State Department, some officials fear that this is a politically-minded purge that cuts out much-needed expertise from the policy-making, rather than simply reorganizing the bureaucracy.
There are clear signals being sent that many key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House, rather than through the professional diplomats.By Daniel Halper
February 17, 2017 | 9:16am
The New York Post
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is cleaning house at the State Department, according to a report.
Staffers in the offices of deputy secretary of state for management and resources as well as counselor were shown the door Thursday, according to CBS News.
Many of those let go were on the building’s seventh floor — top-floor bigs — a symbolically important sign to the rest of the diplomatic corps that their new boss has different priorities than the last one.
The staffing changes came as Tillerson was on his first foreign trip — attending a G-20 meeting in Bonn, Germany.
“As part of the transition from one administration to the next, we continue to build out our team. The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats,” State Department spokesman RC Hammond told CBS.
“We are appreciative to any American who dedicates their talents to public,” he added.
This week’s round of firings marks the second time State Department personnel have been cleared out since President Trump took office last month.
Four top officials were cleared out of the building at the end of January.
“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 State Department spokesman said at the time.