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Tillerson is firing senior diplomats in droves — or forcing them to resign by making them work alongside interns: report

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As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson fires and forces the resignations of dozens of State Department staff, including senior diplomats and other high-ranking officials, many are speaking out amid their departures.

According to a Friday night report in the The New York Times, Tillerson has not only frozen hiring and failed to nominate people to the majority of the department’s politically-appointed positions — he’s also engaged in what appears to be an intentional campaign to push out as many career diplomats as possible.

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“[Tillerson’s] small cadre of aides have fired some diplomats and gotten others to resign by refusing them the assignments they wanted or taking away their duties altogether,” the Times report states. “Among those fired or sidelined were most of the top African-American and Latino diplomats, as well as many women, difficult losses in a department that has long struggled with diversity.”

Among the methods used to push out senior diplomats is by forcing them to undertake menial tasks under Tillerson’s presidentially-directed order to accelerate Freedom of Information Act requests (which are currently backlogged). The task has required every department in the bureau to contribute. As a result, “midlevel employees and diplomats — including some just returning from high-level or difficult overseas assignments — to spend months performing mind-numbing clerical functions beside unpaid interns.”

“The United States is at the center of every crisis around the world, and you simply cannot be effective if you don’t have assistant secretaries and ambassadors in place,” R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat who served as under secretary of state during George W. Bush’s adminsitration, told the Times. “It shows a disdain for diplomacy.”

The report notes that Tillerson still has not nominated an assistant secretary for East Asia or an amabssador to South Korea — two positions that are integral to finding a diplomatic solution to President Donald Trump’s continually escalating feud with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Dana Shell Smith, an ambassador to Qatar who recently resigned, told the Times that many were hopeful about Tillerson’s arrival and hoped he’d “finally get the department in shape” after the tenures of Clinton and former Secretary of State John Kerry, both of whom were unpopular. That optimism, however, soon soured.

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“These people either do not believe the U.S. should be a world leader, or they’re utterly incompetent,” she said. “Either way, having so many vacancies in essential places is a disaster waiting to happen.”


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WATCH: Trump looks on as Turkey’s Erdo?an denies the Armenian Genocide ever occurred

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President Donald Trump looked on as Turkish President Recep Erdo?an denied the Armenian Genocide during a joint press conference at the White House.

Trump allowed Erdo?an's visit despite Turkey's ethnic cleansing of America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria.

Onlookers were shocked that Erdo?an did this in front of the president and multiple Republican senators.

From the White House, Erdogan is ranting about the Armenian Genocide, saying it didn’t happen and that he wants to set up a “history commission.”

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‘The country got an education’: Nicolle Wallace explains why impeachment could move public opinion

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace offered her analysis after the day of televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry.

Wallace, who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, drew upon her experience as a top Republican strategist.

"Listen, I haven’t spent a nanosecond in a courtroom, but I’ve spent my career in the court of public opinion. And if you look at what the Democrats have set out to do and you look at why this has swung public opinion in a way the Mueller probe never did is that they have laid brick on top of brick on top of brick," Wallace explained.

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Room erupts in laughter as Democrat Peter Welch destroys Jim Jordan during impeachment hearing

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There was a moment of levity four-hours into the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the bombastic Freedom Caucus member who was added to the committee at the last moment by Republicans, had argued that the White House whistleblower started the scandal.

"There’s one witness, one witness that they won’t bring in front of us, they won’t bring in front of the American people, and that’s the guy who started it all, the whistleblower," Jordan argued.

Unfortunately for the wrestling coach turned politician, Jordan was followed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).

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