State Department spokeswoman acknowledges ‘morale issue’ in surprise admission
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert acknowledged on Friday during a press briefing that there is a “morale issue” within the department.
She made the remark when asked to comment on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek interview that he does not see such an issue despite media reports.
“I have seen and have talked to people, and will be frank that, sure, there is a morale issue in this building, and that’s why I say, folks, hang in there,” Nauert responded. “We have a lot of work to be done. Please don’t give up. Don’t give up on this building. Don’t give up on what America is doing. Don’t give up on the importance of this job and this career.”
RELATED: Places the State Department has issued travel alerts, warnings for
Back in August, publication Foreign Policy had reported, “[State] Department employees report low morale as they struggle with a broken internal chain of command, and a White House that seems hell-bent on undermining relationships with longtime allies.”
Tillerson has been pushing for a reorganization, aimed at shrinking the department and making it more efficient. However, that effort has faced significant challenges, prompting a wave of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
According to CNN, Senators John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen sent a letter to Tillerson on Wednesday, which notes in part, “low morale and a perceived flood of career diplomats leaving Foggy Bottom ‘paint a disturbing picture.’”