Rex Tillerson, President Garbage Fire’s largely inconsequential and oft-humiliated Secretary of State, is still struggling with unfilled positions and a president who continually undercuts his own diplomatic statements. He has, however, fully devoted himself to Trump’s only apparent use for a State Department: fishin’ for Hillary Clinton dirt.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assignment of as many as several hundred State Department officials to quickly clear a huge backlog of public records requests is being met with deep skepticism by rank-and-file employees.
Tillerson says his goal is transparency. But many State workers fear the real reason is political: expediting the public release of thousands of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s official emails.
This follows news that Trump has demanded a speedier release of any remaining emails from the previous secretary of state, an overtly political request being made by a sitting president to, if at all possible, further retaliate against his political opponent. Which is not normal.
But there’s another dynamic at work here as well: Tillerson’s demand that hundreds of State Department officials abandon their current duties to be retasked with sorting through public records requests is being seen by many of those officials as another attempt to punish and/or cull the diplomatic ranks.
The staffers also suspect the move — which will reassign many of them from far more substantive duties and has already sparked a union complaint — is meant to force many of them to resign out of frustration with what are essentially clerical positions. […]
While many of the people assigned to open-records duty are lower-level staffers and interns, some have previously held prestigious posts, helping shape U.S. foreign policy and engaging in high-level diplomacy.
And under Trump, the U.S. won’t be needing any foreign policy or high-level diplomacy—so sorting through paperwork it is.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.