After weeks of high-level leaks in foreign affairs, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is following through on one of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to “drain the swamp” that is known as the Washington elite.
CBS reported that while Tillerson was overseas, his aides laid off much of the seventh-floor staff at the State Department on Thursday.
Those laid off included holdovers from the Obama administration who worked for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices. These staffers were often the channel between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus.
High-ranking officials who were let go were also part of the “seventh-floor,” which was known as the home to those who reportedly worked diligently to shield Hillary Clinton from justice.
Known also as former President Barack Obama’s “shadow government,” the political operatives often viewed themselves as a separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies of the U.S. president.
As a result of this week’s purge, it became clear that policy would be controlled by the White House, not professional diplomats, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Evidence of this could be seen when not a single State Department official was present in White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As is standard with every transition, the outgoing administration, in coordination with the incoming one, requested all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation,” a State Department spokesman said at the time.
CBS lamented the move latest, stating that many State Department officials feared that a such a purge would cut much-needed expertise from the policy-making.
Of course, they would. CBS, along with other mainstream media outlets, are beginning to realize that Trump means business.
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