This is pretty stunning. Josh Rogin at the Post is reporting that unexpectedly yesterday, the top career leadership at the State Department all resigned. These are not Obama era appointees but career FSOs who’ve served under Presidents of both parties.
From the Post …
Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me.
Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” says Kerry Chief of Staff David Wade.
This is bad for Tillerson. But it’s bad for everyone. Kennedy was reportedly trying to stay on in his position, as I believe he did from Bush to Obama. It sure sounds like there was some precipitating event.