Trump ordered slew of senior State Department resignations, report says
Thomas Shannon remains the United States' acting secretary of state, but Foggy Bottom has lost its entire senior team. President Donald Trump reportedly ordered these moves in an effort to "clean house."
CNN reports the administration told four senior State Department officials that their services were no longer needed. The Washington Post characterized the departures as "sudden."
Trump's secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson was on site at the State Department's building in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington on Wednesday when the departures occurred, The Post reported.
Among those who are out include State's long-serving undersecretary of management, Patrick Kennedy. He is reported to have been lobbying to keep his job. Other top officials who are no longer working at State include: Joyce Anne Barr, Gentry O. Smith and Michelle Bond. All three are career foreign service officers who have served under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Lydia Muniz, director of the bureau of overseas building operations, was asked to depart as well, CNN reports.
Gregory Starr, the assistant secretary for diplomatic security, additionally resigned, according to The Post. Starr came back to public service after the 2012 Benghazi attack and had "promised to stay through the end of the Obama administration."
Ambassadors around the globe have resigned in wake of Trump's victory but the loss of the management leadership is being described as much more "disruptive."
"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 Secretary John Kerry's chief of staff.
Adding to lack of clarity as to what is going on at Foggy Bottom, the department has canceled its traditional press briefing for the entire week, the first of the Trump administration. It is unclear who will lead the briefings next week.
John Kirby, the chief spokesman under Kerry, signed off for good the day before the inauguration. Kerry and Kirby both appeared at the briefing on Jan. 19.
"Humbled & grateful to have served at the @StateDept for @JohnKerry. Moving on to life as a private citizen. Please follow me @johnfkirby63." Kirby tweeted from @statedeptspox on Jan. 19. That handle, @statedeptspox, has not tweeted since.
And State is not the only department seeing departures Thursday. As President Trump and Congressional Republicans push forward with plans for a border wall, the incumbent U.S. Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan, has resigned, the Associated Press reports.