Department of State
See also Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
|2016.12.13||Tillerson visited the White House repeatedly to make sure ExxonMobil's competitors didn't gain an edge in the way Russia sanctions were enforced. bloomberg.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Russia, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2016.12.13||What is the Russian Order of Friendship and why does Rex Tillerson have one? washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Conflicts of Interest, Russia)|
|2016.12.14||Billions of dollars are at stake for ExxonMobil in one of Trump's biggest foreign policy decisions in the next few years and Tillerson's ties to Russia and oil are potentially huge conflicts of interest. vox.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Conflicts of Interest, Russia)|
|2016.12.20||Trump’s presidential transition team asks State Department officials to disclose how much money it provides each year to international environmental groups. washingtonpost.com (See also Environment)|
|2016.12.22||Trump transition team asks State Department to submit details of programs and jobs aimed at promoting gender equality. nytimes.com (See also Women)|
|2016.12.23||Democrats on Capitol Hill press for access to tax returns from Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State nominee. wsj.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2017.01.11||Rex Tillerson's controversial foreign ties are likely to be a focus of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. theatlantic.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2017.01.24||Trump expected to sign several executive orders restricting immigration from Syria and six other Middle Eastern or African countries on Wednesday January 25. reuters.com (See also First 100 Days, Immigration, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Department of Homeland Security, Jeff Sessions)|
|2017.01.25||Multiple senior officers resign their posts with the State Department as U.S. s diplomats express private concerns about foreign policy under Trump. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Foreign Policy)|
A handful of senior U.S. diplomats are resigning their posts during President Donald Trump’s first week on the job, creating more high-level openings that the new president must fill.
|2017.01.26||A number of career Foreign Service officers were informed this week that they will not be asked to stay on in senior or sensitive posts creating a leadership vacuum among the top ranks at the State Department. washingtonpost.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of Homeland Security)|
"Current and former senior officials were clear that the turnover is unusual even for a new administration"
|2017.01.26||The State Department’s entire senior administrative team, all career foreign service officers who've served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, just resigned. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.01.26||The US State Department's four top management members resign. independent.co.uk (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.01.26||The entire State department management team was fired by Trump administration, despite earlier reports that they'd resigned. talkingpointsmemo.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.01.29||Trump's state department purge has left a gaping hole at the heart of US diplomacy sparking worries of 'know-nothing approach' to foreign policy theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.01.30||Majority of State Dept has been fired and sits empty. Bannon and Miller now rule the country unchecked. Judges' orders ignored by DHS. twitter.com (See also First 100 Days, Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.01.30||The U.S. government has granted waivers to let 872 refugees into the country this week, despite Trump's Muslim Immigration ban executive order on Friday. reuters.com (See also First 100 Days, Muslim Immigration Ban, Department of Homeland Security)|
|2017.01.30||Trump faces growing state department mutiny against immigration ban as more than 200 diplomats sign ‘dissent’ memo criticizing executive order theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Muslim Immigration Ban, Sean Spicer)|
"The memo is being sent through the state department’s “dissent channel”, set up at the time of the Vietnam war to allow alternative points of view to be aired inside the institution. Under its foreign affairs manual, dissenters are strictly protected from reprisals, but the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, warned the signers they should resign if they did not like the policy."
|2017.01.30||White House says more than 100 U.S. diplomats expressing dissent against Muslim immigration ban "should either get with the program or they can go." nytimes.com (See also Immigration, Muslim Immigration Ban)|
|2017.01.31||State Dept. dissent cable, asserting that the president’s order on immigration will not make the nation safer, draws 1,000 signatures, has wended through dozens of embassies and is still spreading. mobile.nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Muslim Immigration Ban, Immigration)|
|2017.02.01||Rex Tillerson is confirmed as Secretary of State in a 56-to-43 vote, an opposition record. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Rex Tillerson, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.02.01||Senate confirms oil industry executive and friend of Russia Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State in 56-to-43 vote. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Russia, Russian Meddling in Election)|
|2017.02.03||Last week, six top State Department officials were suddenly discharged by the White House—an Undersecretary, an acting Undersecretary, and four Assistant Secretaries amoung them Tom Countryman who served for 35 years. This is the full text of his retirement remarks. justsecurity.org (See also First 100 Days)|
|2017.02.16||New U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Russian counterpart at meeting on G20 foreign ministers summit in first high level contact between Russia and Washington since the inauguration. theguardian.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Russia)|
|2017.02.17||State Dept. lays off most of the career diplomats who serve as conduits between the Secretary's office and country bureaus in a move that many view as a sign that key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House. cbsnews.com (See also Foreign Policy, Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.02.22||Rex W. Tillerson arrives in Mexico with twin threats hanging over the frayed relationship between the two nations: Trump’s new orders to round up and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, and a separate effort to examine American aid to Mexico for possible use in paying for a border wall. nytimes.com (See also Rex Tillerson, First 100 Days, Mexico, Mexico Wall, Immigration)|
|2017.02.24||Mexican Interior Secretary does not mince words when speaking alongside Rex Tillerson and John Kelly in Mexico City Thursday, saying: "We do not agree on the different measures that recently were stated by the government of the United States (that) affect Mexico." cnn.com (See also First 100 Days, Rex Tillerson, John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security, Mexico)|
|2017.02.24||The Trump administration has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the preeminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement, daily briefings, and official travel and keeping Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a mostly offstage role. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.10||Secretary of State is normally the most important position in the cabinet, but Rex Tillerson has had little impact on the Trump administration so far due to a lack of power coming from any of the five typical sources: backing from the president, advice and support from his or her department’s career officials, admiration from and alliances with other leaders in the government, praise from the press and public, and positive evaluations of his or her competence and power by foreign diplomats. foreignpolicy.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.03.14||NY Attorney General accuses Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of using the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" to send emails related to climate change while serving as CEO of Exxon Mobil. money.cnn.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Environment, Climate Change)|
|2017.03.29||Rex Tillerson notifies Congress and The State Department he intends to waive human rights conditions attached to the sale of fighter jets to Bahrain. cnn.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.06.17||In the feud among nations in the Persian Gulf, Trump has supported those with which he does business, criticizing Qatar, differing sharply from the positions of the Pentagon and State Department. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Saudi Arabia, Foreign Policy, Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.06.17||The White House plans to work with House Republicans on administration-friendly changes to the Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan bill (98-2) that slaps new sanctions on Russia and curbs Trump’s power to ease penalties against Moscow. politico.com (See also Russia, Russian Meddling in Election, Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.06.19||Dozens of young minority and female State Department recruits received startling news that they would not be able to soon join the Foreign Service despite having been promised that opportunity. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.06.27||The White House issued a statement Monday evening threatening to exact "a heavy price" in response to a potential chemical attack by the Syrian government, but senior national security officials were caught off guard and had no idea a statement was coming that threatened military action - a major step. nbcnews.com (See also Administration Errors, Syria, Rex Tillerson, Nikki Haley)|
|2017.08.02||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation. politico.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.08.06||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has failed to nominate anyone to most of the department’s 38 highest-ranking jobs, leaving many critical departments without direction or a coherent foreign policy. nytimes.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Assaults on Government)|
|2017.10.01||Donald Trump undercut his own secretary of state, calling his effort to open lines of communication with North Korea a waste of time, and seeming to rule out a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear-edged confrontation with Pyongyang, just a day after Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said he was reaching out in hopes of starting a new dialogue. nytimes.com (See also Rex Tillerson, North Korea, Unpresidential Behavior, Nuclear Weapons)|
|2017.10.04||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, openly disparaging Donald Trump, referring to him as a "moron." nbcnews.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2017.10.11||Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, leading to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a "moron." nbcnews.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Foreign Policy, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Mike Pence, Steven Mnuchin)|
|2017.10.26||The Trump administration is not putting the legal Russia sanctions in place, as it is also revealed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has eliminated the office responsible for coordinating and enforcing those sanctions. foreignpolicy.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Rex Tillerson, Assaults on Government, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.11.08||New data shows how the Trump administration is destroying the State Department, where 60% of its top management has quit, and new applicants have dropped by half. vox.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Assaults on Government, Foreign Policy)|
|2017.11.24||A State Department exodus marks a new stage in the broken and increasingly contentious relationship between Rex W. Tillerson and much of his work force. nytimes.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.11.30||The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with Donald Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks. nytimes.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, Trump Cabinet)|
A transition plan would install Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, as secretary of state, and tap Senator Tom Cotton to lead the spy agency.
|2017.12.09||An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world. foreignpolicy.com (See also Foreign Policy, Rex Tillerson)|
|2018.01.02||Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to suggest that Huma Abedin, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton, should face jail time, days after the State Department posted emails found on her estranged husband’s computer that included confidential government information. washingtonpost.com (See also Fascism, Belief in Conspiracy Theories, Assaults on Civil Liberties, Department of Justice)|
|2018.01.12||The US ambassador to Panama has resigned, saying he can no longer work with Donald Trump cnn.com (See also Foreign Policy)|
|2018.02.02||As senior career diplomat, Tom Shannon, announced plans to leave the State Department, seven of the top nine jobs at the department will be empty. bloomberg.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Assaults on Government)|
|2018.02.21||State Department officials have been ordered to pare back passages in a soon-to-be-released annual report on global human rights that traditionally discuss women’s reproductive rights and discrimination, stripping passages that describe views on family planning, contraceptives, abortion, as well as racial, ethnic, and sexual discrimination. politico.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Women)|
The move reflects the Tillerson-Trump view of human rights as a low priority in foreign policy.
|2018.03.05||As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy. nytimes.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, Rex Tillerson)|
As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.
|2018.03.05||Russia advised Donald Trump to pick someone other than Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, who would ease sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. newyorker.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russian Meddling in Election, Rex Tillerson, Corruption)|
|2018.03.13||Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea. washingtonpost.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, Rex Tillerson, North Korea, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.03.13||Hours before being ousted as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson called the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Rex Tillerson, Resignations and Dismissals)|
“It's almost beyond comprehension that a state, an organized state would do something like that,” Rex Tillerson said on a trip to Africa, hours before being fired.
|2018.03.13||The San Francisco spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has resigned over what he described as “false” and “misleading” statements made by top-ranking officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan. washingtonpost.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, Jeff Sessions, False Statements, Immigration)|
|2018.03.16||White House chief of staff John Kelly decided to share the story of a conversation with Rex Tillerson that Donald Trump would very soon fire him, while Tillerson was using the toilet, due to a food poisoning stomach bug. thedailybeast.com (See also John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, unp, Unpresidential Behavior)|
|2018.03.21||A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. nytimes.com (See also Saudi Arabia, Rex Tillerson, Corruption, Iran)|
High on the agenda of the two men — George Nader, a political adviser to the de facto ruler of the U.A.E., and Elliott Broidy, the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee — was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E.
|2018.04.10||As a sharply partisan Republican member of Congress, CIA Director Mike Pompeo tormented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her response to the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which Pompeo called “morally reprehensible, but now that Pompeo faces a tough confirmation process to become secretary of state himself, he has reached out to Clinton, as well as every other living occupant of the office, to ask for guidance. politico.com (See also Mike Pompeo, Hypocrisy)|
|2018.06.29||The U.S. ambassador to Estonia, James D. Melville Jr., a career diplomat and member of the senior foreign service ranks, announced to friends Friday that he was resigning in disgust amid a string of controversial comments Donald Trump made about U.S. allies in Europe. foreignpolicy.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, Unpresidential Behavior, Foreign Policy)|
|2018.07.08||The Trump administration stunned world health officials, when it used trade sanctions and the withdrawal of military aid to try to block a measure that was considered uncontroversial and embraced by countries around the world concerning breastfeeding. nytimes.com (See also Women, Department of Health and Human Services)|
|2018.07.11||Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's overnight visit to Pyongyang last week failed to demonstrate any progress on denuclearization talks, leading one source with knowledge of the discussions to say the White House felt it went "as badly as it could have gone." cnn.com (See also North Korea, Reversals, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.07.25||The Trump administration was warned that ending US protections for more than 300,000 Central Americans would strengthen and grow MS-13 and gangs that Donald Trump has called "animals," but the administration went on to end the protections for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua regardless. cnn.com (See also Reversals, Administration Errors, Racism)|
|2018.07.31||North Korea has continued its work on missile and weapons programs since Donald Trump said that the North Korea nuclear threat was over, including manufacturing new intercontinental ballistic missiles at a facility near Pyongyang, the capital, according to one Defense Department official, and they also continue to produce nuclear fuel, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. nytimes.com (See also North Korea, Mike Pompeo, Department of Defense, Nuclear Weapons)|
|2018.08.23||South Africa accused Donald Trump of stoking racial divisions in a late-night tweet in which he said he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African "land and farm seizures" and the "killing of farmers". yahoo.com (See also Belief in Conspiracy Theories, Racism, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.09.05||The Trump administration has consistently sought to exaggerate the potential security threat posed by refugees and dismissed an intelligence assessment last year that showed refugees did not present a significant threat to the U.S. nbcnews.com (See also False Statements, Immigration, Jeff Sessions)|
Hard-liners in the administration then issued their own report this year that several former officials and rights groups say misstates the evidence and inflates the threat posed by people born outside the U.S.
|2018.09.17||Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. will limit refugee admission to 30,000 in 2019, down from 45,000 in 2018. axios.com (See also Mike Pompeo, Immigration)|
When Trump took office, the refugee cap stood at 110,000.
|2018.10.02||Due to a new rule from the Trump administration, foreign diplomats and foreign staffers assigned to the United Nations in New York need to be married — and not just in a domestic partnership — in order to obtain a visa for their partner to enter the United States. buzzfeednews.com (See also Reversals, LGBTQIA)|
|2018.11.13||The Trump administration closed a diplomatic office designed to keep track of released Guantánamo inmates and make sure they didn’t return to their insurgencies, so the U.S. government has lost track of several of them, including one who has returned to a terrorist-held part of Syria. mcclatchydc.com (See also Administration Errors, Assaults on Government, Syria, Foreign Policy)|
|2018.11.15||Donald Trump intends to nominate luxury handbag designer, and Mar-a-Lago member, Lana Marks as the new ambassador to South Africa, almost two years after the last ambassador left under Barack Obama. reuters.com (See also Racism, Conflicts of Interest, Corruption)|
The nomination comes at a time of frayed relations between the two countries after a tweet in August in which Trump asked his secretary of state to study South African “land and farm seizures."
|2018.12.05||Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo misled senators last week in a Senate-only briefing on the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the result of having to tiptoe around Donald Trump’s refusal to pin blame for the killing on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. politico.com (See also James Mattis, Mike Pompeo, Department of Defense, False Statements, Saudi Arabia, Corruption)|
|2018.12.07||In an interview with CBS News, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said of his time with Donald Trump, “What was challenging for me coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented ExxonMobil corporation, to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.’ ” washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson)|
|2018.12.20||The Trump administration, mired in a battle with Congress over funding of a border wall, announced that the United States would begin requiring people seeking asylum at the southwest border to wait in Mexico for a court ruling on their cases. nytimes.com (See also Mexico, Immigration, Department of Homeland Security, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.12.21||Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State group, agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with the Turkish President. apnews.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Syria, Fascism, Foreign Policy, Mike Pompeo)|