Tags: inquiry | ambassadors | deepstate | diplomats

Politico: Diplomat Nomination Process Facing Reform

marie yovanovitch walk to congress to testify.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By    |   Sunday, 13 October 2019 10:19 AM

Resistance to the Trump administration has extended to ambassadors and diplomats amid the latest impeachment inquiry, and Congress might ultimately take a look at how ambassadors are appointed, according to Politico.

A database shows 45% of President Donald Trump's ambassador picks are political appointees, according to the report. The administration has repeatedly rebuked the presence of a "deep state" of holdovers opposed to his foreign policy, causing the president to select people on board with his reformist agenda in lieu of career diplomats.

"It is out of whack under Trump," former U.S. Amb. Dana Shell Smith told Politico. "These ambassadorships are being seen as the spoils, as opposed to being very serious jobs that act in the interest of the country."

The American Foreign Service Association, a union for diplomats, want more career officials in the Trump administration's posts. 

AFSA President Eric Rubin, a former Obama administration ambassador, is pushing back at the Trump administration's rejection of career officials, pointing to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 specifying ambassadorships should "normally be accorded to career members of the Service," according to Politico.

Obama-era ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul wants a change in how diplomats are appointed now in rejection of the Trump administration's rooting out of career officials for those favoring his foreign policy.

"I agree with @ewarren," ex-Amb. McFaul tweeted, linking to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's rebuke of EU Amb. Gordon Sonderland. "The time to change this practice of selling ambassadorial posts is now. (Presidents can still pick their own ambassadors, but based on qualifications & expertise, not donor contributions.)"

McFaul admitted he was a political appointee, donating to ex-President Barack Obama.

Another former Obama appointee let go by President Trump is Marie Yovanovitch, who has proceeded to speak out against the administration to Congress, claiming she was let go because the president did not trust her because she was allegedly anti-Trump.

Now, amid Yovanovitch's removal, the AFSA is seeking donations from diplomats for a legal defense fund for career diplomats ousted by an administration.

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Resistance to the Trump administration has extended to ambassadors and diplomats amid the latest impeachment inquiry, and Congress might ultimately take a look at how ambassadors are appointed, according to Politico....
inquiry, ambassadors, deepstate, diplomats
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2019-19-13
Sunday, 13 October 2019 10:19 AM
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