During his campaign, Trump promised to drain the swamp. The numbers don’t lie, and in most cases, he doesn’t even have to ask them to leave.
A new report from McClatchy DC is highlighting a startling trend: nearly 60 percent of State Department’s highest-ranking Diplomats have moved on. The most recent is John Feeley, who is currently serving as Ambassador to the Republic of Panama. Feeley officially resigned his position this week, claiming that Trump made it virtually impossible to function effectively in his role. His resignation comes just a few days after Trump allegedly made comments about bringing in immigrants from “shithole countries” in relation to Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa – comments the President completely denies.
• Feeley’s resignation has caused a ripple of concern within the State Department; he was a well-respected diplomat who was dedicated to his career. One U.S. official who was not named suggested that, “[He] was born for the foreign service.”
• Feeley is not the first diplomat to leave; last November, a foreign service officer working on Nairobi and Somalia also quit her post for similar reasons. Elizabeth Shackelford accused the Trump administration of “abandoning human rights policy” and totally disrespecting the foreign service.
• Most of Feeley’s colleagues agree that he would not make such a decision without significant consideration. One unnamed official commented on his potential influence, stating the resignation is raising questions for other staffers. “Given what happened in the last few days, people are wondering how are they going to be effective in an environment like this.”
• White House National Security Council’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Mark Feierstein believes Feeley’s resignation is just the beginning. “Trump has given ambassadors over the last year many reasons to resign. Yesterday was only one. There were plenty others. And there will be more.”
• Former National Security Council director for Latin America Benjamin Gedan also commented on Feeley’s resignation, saying that “He was the most respected Latin America expert in the Foreign Service and doubtlessly headed for senior leadership positions.”
• Part of what seems to be concerning other State Department staffers is the fact that Feeley was considered by many to be the “best of the best.” He enjoyed bipartisan respect from all political parties and was expected to stay with the State for life.
• Finding replacements for resigning diplomats may not necessarily be a simple task, either; the American Foreign Service Association has stated that new applications are down by nearly 50 percent.
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Does it concern you that so many people are leaving, or do you think this is just what the country needed?