Donald Trump at Republican debates. Now engages in Trump State Department purge.

Trump State Department Resignations: Top Officials At State Department Quit Wednesday In Purge By Donald Trump White House

According to CNN, the late Wednesday night State Department resignations by long-serving top officials represented a forced purge of the State Department upper echelon by the newly installed Donald Trump White House administration. These resignations were demanded from individuals who had served in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Trump during swearing in ceremony at White House. Trump State Department firings will require even more swearing in ceremonies.
[Image by Andrew Harre /Getty Images)

Wednesday Night Massacre by Trump

State Department resignations like the ones on Wednesday are reminiscent of President Nixon’s famous Saturday Night Massacre in which he got rid of the special independent prosecutor looking into his possibly illegal activities. While Trump’s motivations for getting rid of these State Department employees are – perhaps – less sinister, the abruptness of the dismissals is quite similar to the Nixon firings.

Along with the earlier resignations several weeks ago by other State Department employees, these top officials operating directly under the Secretary of State were apparently compelled to offer their resignations by the Trump White House, leaving the upper-level management of the State Department with a virtual vacuum of experience and no one to fill it.

A Paucity of Experience for Trump

State Department old hands have been badly thinned out by these Trump administration decisions. Patrick Kennedy was the State Department Undersecretary for Management and had held the post for nine years under both Bush and Obama. He apparently attempted to hold on to his position under the Trump administration, but the rolling tide of Trump State Department resignations swept him up as well.

Along with Kennedy, three other top officials in the Trump State Department offered up their resignations Wednesday, including Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michelle Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, and Ambassador Gentry Smith, Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.

As a number of foreign policy experts and State Department officials – those who are still employed – have said privately, completely gutting the upper management of the State Department in this way is almost unprecedented. The complexities of international relations and diplomacy require a degree of continuity and order that is now almost certainly going to be absent for – at least – the early days of the Trump State Department.

It’s also true that the experience that these officials appointed by multiple administrations had in operating their various sub-departments within the State Department is going to be difficult to find in anyone that Donald Trump might draw from the private sector to fill these absent posts. Running an oil company is not quite the same as representing the interests of the United States on the international stage.

Trump State Department Head

As reported by The Associated Press, Rex Tillerson – former CEO of Exxon and close friend of Vladimir Putin – has been selected by Trump as his new Secretary of State and approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Tillerson will now have to quickly either promote lower-level less experienced State Department employees or bring in outsiders with little experience – or no experience at all – with this government bureaucracy.

Rex Tillerson Senate hearing as Trump State Department head.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. [Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

Thus, the Donald Trump State Department is likely to be in a poorly run, disorganized state for quite some time. But as reported by CNN, Trump apparently plans to pull the United States back on the world stage – perhaps turning his back on NATO, Japan and any number of current American allies or interests. So it may be that the Trump administration feels it doesn’t really need an effective State Department at all.

These resignations within the Donald Trump State Department are indicative of the overall chaos that the new Trump administration is bringing not only to the State Department itself but to virtually every department and agency in the government from the EPA and NASA to the Veterans Administration and the Interior Department. Hiring freezes, firings, resignations and media blackouts have become the order of the day in the incoming Trump White House.

[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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