First, only four career officials departed the State Department today, hardly the “Mass Exodus” reported by the Washington Post. Two other State Department Officials retired on inauguration day.
Second, CNN reports that the Trump Administration has told them that the four State Department officials were effectively fired.
State Department officials traditionally submit their resignations at the beginning of every new administration, but it is usually a mere symbolic gesture. It appears that in this case, the four resignations were accepted.
The Trump administration’s action should hardly be considered surprising in the case of the best known of the four officials, Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s undersecretary for management.
Trump called for Kennedy’s resignation in October, after an FBI official testified in an internal interview that Kennedy offered a quid quo pro to the FBI during its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email server for public business. The unnamed FBI official claimed that Kennedy offered the FBI access to more stations abroad in return for an FBI finding that Clinton’s classified documents were not classified.
State Department officials strongly denied that such a quid-pro-quo ever occurred, but Trump accused them of “trying to cover up Hillary’s crimes of sending classified information on a server our enemies could easily access.” Trump called for Kennedy’s resignation in light of the “felony corruption.”
Kennedy also came under hard criticism in the House Report on the September 11, 2012 attack on Benghazi.
The other ousted career diplomats were the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, Joyce Anne Barr; the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Michele Bond: and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions.
According to CNN, Kennedy, Bond, Barr, and Smith were all sent letters by the White House accepting their resignations and informing them that their service was no longer required.
The Washington Post story is part of the newspaper’s ongoing effort to falsely characterize various aspects of Trump’s presidency. Instead, The Washington Post has only reinforced its growing reputation as the poster child for fake news.