WTF Community

Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration

DHS removes official who oversaw intelligence reports on journalists

The Department of Homeland Security is removing its top intelligence official from his post amid criticism of his office’s role in the civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. Brian Murphy, who has been the acting chief of DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), is being removed from that role, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to POLITICO. The person said acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf made the decision.


Missed one, thanks :pray:


State Department watchdog resigns in another shake-up at IG’s office

The internal State Department watchdog, whom President Trump installed after the previous inspector general was abruptly fired, has resigned, the department said in a statement, marking another significant shake-up for an office sworn to investigate malfeasance and wrongdoing.

Stephen Akard’s departure, which will be effective Friday, was announced to staff members by his deputy, Diana R. Shaw, who told colleagues that she will become the temporary acting inspector general.


Iran Envoy Brian Hook, a ‘Survivor’ on Trump’s Team, to Quit

Brian Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran and one of the few national security officials to survive the turmoil in the foreign policy team through most of President Trump’s term, plans to announce Thursday that he is resigning his post.

The departure of Mr. Hook, 52, appears to bury any remaining chance of a diplomatic initiative with Iran before the end of Mr. Trump’s term. In the four years during which Mr. Hook became the face of United States sanctions against Tehran, Mr. Hook also held out the possibility of resuming direct talks, the way the Obama administration had.

But to the Iranians — and to some of his critics in Europe and at home — Mr. Hook was merely a defender of a policy meant to break the country and force it to the table to renegotiate a deal they had reached, and complied with, with the Obama administration in 2015.


Postal Service overhauls leadership as Democrats press for investigation of mail delays

Twenty-three postal executives were reassigned or displaced, the new organizational chart shows. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Trump, and de-emphasizes decades’ worth of institutional postal knowledge. All told, 33 staffers included in the old postal hierarchy either kept their jobs or were reassigned in the restructuring, with five more staffers joining the leadership from other roles.

The reshuffling threatens to heighten tensions between postal officials and lawmakers, who are troubled by delivery delays — the Postal Service banned employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail — and wary of the Trump administration’s influence on the Postal Service as the coronavirus pandemic rages and November’s election draws near.


Former VOA director Amanda Bennett speaks out

The upending of the U.S. Agency for Global Media continues: New CEO Michael Pack “continues to dramatically reshape the government-run media group,” Politico’s Daniel Lippman reported Wednesday. Two execs who were removed on Wednesday, CFO Grant Turner and general counsel David Kligerman , “say their ouster amounts to ‘retaliation’ for standing up to Pack.”

Notably, the recently-departed VOA head Amanda Bennett gave a statement to Lippman – her first public remarks since resigning in advance of Pack’s shake-up. Bennett stood up for the ousted execs: “The American people are going to be very very sorry when they wake up one day and find that by these individual actions — one at a time that nobody stopped — they’ve lost the functioning government they once had.”

Bennett continued: “What is happening at USAGM is a microcosm of what’s happening all across the U.S. government – driving out honest, skilled, talented long serving professional public servants on trumped up charges and replacing them with people of no qualifications whose only attribute is loyalty.” She concluded: “McCarthy couldn’t have done it better.”

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Kyle Murphy, former Intel official from the Pentagon pens an article about his resignation after seeing the use of force against US Citizens for protesting.

I left government service after more than a decade because I lost faith in the courage of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to refuse unlawful orders from the President. They effectively labeled me and other Americans expressing our views in a peaceful assembly as enemies. They authorized troops to use overwhelming force and set a dangerous precedent by enabling the president to ignore state and local officials’ objections and deploy federal forces in response to popular protests. While the military is, thankfully, out of the spotlight for now, the president has turned to other eager allies — in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice — who believe their components of the federal government can clamp down on dissent with a veneer of legality.

I have seen up close the president’s disdain for democratic values, and recent events should be put in the context of a continuous slide toward authoritarianism. In 2015, I was detailed to the White House as an apolitical civil servant on the National Security Council (NSC) staff. My term was set to conclude in January 2017, but I agreed to extend for two months at the request of NSC leaders to support an orderly transition between administrations. I briefed President Donald Trump before several introductory calls to foreign heads of state, and as is customary, I listened in and prepared the official transcripts. I was appalled by the ways he actively undermined the democratic principles we have long aspired to model and to advance globally.

And inteviewed on Maddow tonight…


Kellyanne Conway to leave the White House at the end of the month, citing the need to focus on her family

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump and one of his longest-serving aides, is leaving the White House at the end of the month.


That’s code for fired, although her daughter made a statement about desire for emancipation last week. I would not surprised if Trump fired her because her family’s high profile online, makes him look bad.



KellyAnne is leaving WH
George is leaving Lincoln Project…
Daughter Claudia is a rebel and shaking things up…and leaving Twitter.

Time for their tell-all book…or reveal who ANONYMOUS is…

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump and one of his longest-serving aides, is leaving the White House at the end of the month.

Conway, whose title is counselor to the president, was Trump’s third campaign manager in 2016 and the first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign to victory. She joined the White House at the start of Trump’s term and has been one of his most visible and vocal defenders.

Conway informed Trump of her decision Sunday night in the Oval Office.

Her husband George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and outspoken critic of the president, is also stepping back from his role on the Lincoln Project, an outside group of Republicans devoted to defeating Trump in November. He will also take a hiatus from Twitter, the venue he has often used to attack the president.


Sean Lawler, from the State Dept - in charge of enforcing decorum/customs at official events resigns.
Sounds awful and all a part of Sec of State Pompeo’s operations.

The State Department official in charge of enforcing decorum and customs at official events when the U.S. hosts foreign dignitaries resigned amid complaints of workplace violence, drinking, and racist outbursts, according to a leaked internal watchdog report. The official, Sean Lawler, would “crack a horse whip in the office" placing officials who worked with him "in fear of physical harm.” Lawler also referred to a gay subordinate named Kyle as “Kylie,” took umbrage at Japanese diplomats who “looked like gay porn stars,” and referred to a group of Turkish nationals who visited his office as “dirty.” The report comes to light amid mounting evidence that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had one department watchdog fired, and driven another from his job shortly thereafter, to conceal or pre-emptively cast doubt on the myriad corruption and workplace-misconduct scandals that have defined Pompeo’s tenure at the State Department.

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Feds’ Etiquette Office Plagued by Indecorous Behavior: Watchdog

Whip cracking, drinking and profanity-laced threats: Government office in charge of etiquette plagued by etiquette problems, watchdog finds

When the United States hosts foreign leaders and dignitaries, a little-known office at the State Department is in charge of sweating every detail, from choreographing presidential greetings to arranging seating charts to managing dietary restrictions.

The Office of the Chief of Protocol oversees the glitz and glamour of diplomacy, and is responsible for enforcing the rules of decorum to maintain tradition and tee up U.S. negotiators for success.

But inside that office, U.S. employees have complained about internal breaches in etiquette and protocol under the leadership of the Trump administration’s political appointees running day-to-day affairs.

The complaints resulted in an investigation by the State Department’s in-house watchdog, which in May produced a report saying that the former chief of protocol, Sean Lawler, committed what could be considered “workplace violence” and that Cam Henderson, the current chief of protocol, and Mary-Kate Fisher, her deputy, “failed to report” that behavior “in violation of Department policies.”

Officials described an environment of yelling, cursing, “overconsuming alcohol,” and intimidating and abusive behavior, according to the report, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

“Mr. Lawler had an explosive personality and regularly would throw papers and binders,” the report said of his tenure from December 2017 to July 2019. “Several employees reported that he would crack a horse whip in the office and that, given his general demeanor and conduct, these actions placed them in fear of physical harm.”

State Department officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said Lawler routinely made abusive, homophobic and culturally insensitive comments to his subordinates.

The leadership of the State Department strongly rejected the findings of the report and questioned the motives of the watchdog, which it says demonstrated a “systemic pattern of selective inclusion and exclusion of facts.” The State Department’s June 30 response, which The Post obtained, is the latest sign of bad blood between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the office of the inspector general, which is responsible for investigating suspected waste, fraud and malfeasance at the department.

Pompeo orchestrated the ouster of Steve Linick, the department’s previous inspector general, in the spring, but Linick’s investigations are continuing to be pursued by his successors.

The leadership’s response was addressed to Linick’s replacement, Stephen Akard, who abruptly resigned this month after less than three months on the job. Akard had been pressured by Democratic lawmakers to recuse himself from investigations of whether Pompeo and his wife, Susan, inappropriately used federal resources. Pompeo has denied the allegations. Akard was replaced by Diana R. Shaw, his deputy.

The watchdog report says it is based on accounts from “numerous” officials and took into account other internal investigations by the Office of Civil Rights and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. It also notes that some of the abusive incidents were relayed in “general terms” to protect the identity of officials who “expressed a fear of retaliation.” Elements of the document were first reported by Politico earlier this month.

When asked about the accusations, Lawler told The Post that they were “ridiculously offensive and untrue.” He declined to respond in detail to the various allegations.

A State Department spokesperson added that it is “outrageous that a memo on personnel matters which makes unsubstantiated accusations has been leaked to the press.”

Public awareness of problems at the Protocol Office emerged in June 2019 after Lawler was suspended amid complaints about harassment, including accounts that he carried a whip around the office.

The report sheds new light on a variety of unusual events that took place at the Protocol Office. The whip, for instance, was “gifted” to Lawler by a delegation visiting from Kazakhstan, according to the response from Henderson and Fisher, who called it a “riding crop.”

“There was a verbal complaint from a staff member about this riding crop, directed to Ms. Henderson, who responded by moving the riding crop into her office for safekeeping and informing Ambassador Lawler he should no longer carry the riding crop on his person for any reason,” the response says.

The Protocol Office is home to an influential group of former aides to ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie ®. Henderson and Fisher worked for Christie, who endorsed Donald Trump at a pivotal moment in the 2016 presidential race.

Officials told The Post that Lawler picked on gay employees and made them feel disrespected. Two State Department officials said Lawler referred to one gay subordinate named Kyle as “Kylie.” The officials also noted that Lawler said that a group of visiting Japanese diplomats “looked like gay porn stars” and that he thought he was getting “hit on” and didn’t want their gifts.

Officials alleged that Lawler made other offensive comments. After a group of Turkish nationals visited the Protocol Office and offered a gift of dates, according to an official, Lawler said the dates were “disgusting,” just like the “dirty” men who had brought them.

Under any administration, work in the Protocol Office often involves grueling deadlines, frequent international travel, and management of obscure and delicate cultural norms. During the previous administration, the office came under criticism when President Barack Obama gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a box set of DVDs that were coded for the United States and unwatchable in Britain, causing guffaws in the British media.

But officials who worked under both administrations said the office had never gone through a period of such fear and dysfunction.

The IG report claims that Henderson and Fisher did not intervene when they saw or heard about Lawler abusing colleagues. For instance, it says that Fisher did not act when she saw Lawler “pounding his fists against an administrative employee’s desk and shouting profanities at her.”

In their response, Henderson and Fisher questioned whether it was necessary for them to approach human resources about the incidents and raised doubts about whether Lawler’s behavior qualified as “threatening” or amounted to “violence.”

While acknowledging that Lawler raised his voice on a number of occasions, they said that they discussed his actions between themselves and that Henderson spoke to Lawler about the allegations and in some cases extracted an apology.

Fisher said that only one employee told her about feeling threatened by Lawler, after he tore up a paper and threw it at the employee.

But a memo obtained by The Post, in which two people discussed the threat Lawler posed after he was suspended but before he resigned, notes that an employee “asked Mary-Kate if we can change the lock combination” because she was “concerned for her safety due to the Chief’s frequent angry outbursts and the fact that he may come back to the office.” The document says, “We will have the lock changed this week.”

In a statement, Fisher said that was “completely false” and that the lock change was a standard diplomatic security procedure. She said she was “not notified” about safety concerns.

Four former officials in that office said safety concerns about Lawler returning after his suspension were widely known.

After Lawler resigned, Fisher and Henderson succeeded him and had employees fill out a survey about the workplace environment. In an August 2019 email obtained by The Post, Fisher told staff members, “I recognize the past couple of months have been challenging.” More than 56 percent of the office staff participated in the survey and respondents “showed some discomfort with the presence of alcohol in the office and at official events,” the State Department said.

Fisher and Henderson said they “took the pro-active step of terminating alcohol at internal office functions . . . with the exception” of major official events and ceremonies. Other officials, however, said Henderson was partly responsible for the frequent presence of alcohol in the office.

“When Lawler would flare up and yell, Cam would bring him a drink, in front of everyone to calm him down,” said one official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “There would be full staff meetings when Lawler would sit at the head of the conference room and drink red wine — while no one else drank — saying it was the only thing that would calm him down.”

“Drinking was a usual reward to calm him down,” another official said.

Lawler said those allegations were untrue.

A State Department spokesperson did not rebut the specific allegation about Henderson encouraging Lawler to drink alcohol.

The IG report was addressed to Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun, but the official who responded was counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, a confidant of Pompeo who often handles sensitive issues for him.


Nora Dannahy, Top prosecutor working with John Durham leaves due to political pressure. Why? Pundits are suggesting that there is pressure from AG Barr to set out the Durham investigation before the election.

Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a top aide to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in his Russia investigation, has quietly resigned - at least partly out of concern that the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done, colleagues said.

Dannehy, a highly regarded prosecutor who has worked with or for Durham for decades, informed colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven of her resignation from the Department of Justice by email Thursday evening. The short email was a brief farewell message and said nothing about political pressure, her work for Durham or what the Durham team has produced, according to people who received it.

Durham, who has never even acknowledged that Dannehy was in Washington working for him, had no immediate comment on the resignation.


Trump’s ambassador to China unexpectedly retiring before election amid high tensions

The U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, will resign ahead of November’s presidential election as high tensions continue to beset the two countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday on Twitter that Branstad would be leaving the post after three years, although didn’t provide a reason for his departure.




This is a two-fer. Caputo’s ‘science advisor’ has been fired or let go from HHS.

The agency also said that Paul Alexander, a top aide to Caputo, would be leaving the agency permanently. Alexander came under scrutiny in recent weeks for his efforts to exert control over the messages coming from scientists and top health officials, including the content of weekly science reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to make them conform to the president’s assertions that the virus is under control.


Womp womp.

DeVos’ former top aide joins anti-Trump group

Josh Venable is lending his name as an adviser to the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform.


:eyes: rumor mill


Whistle-Blowing Scientist Quits Government With Final Broadside

Rick Bright, a senior vaccine scientist who said he was demoted this spring for complaining about “cronyism” and political interference in science, resigned his final government post on Tuesday, saying he had been sidelined and left with nothing to do.

In a new addendum to the whistle-blower complaint he filed in May, Dr. Bright’s lawyers say officials at the National Institutes of Health, where he worked after his demotion, rejected his idea for a national coronavirus testing strategy “because of political considerations.” He also accused them of ignoring his request to join the $10 billion effort to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed.

“I long to serve the American people by using my skills to fight this pandemic,” Dr. Bright wrote on Sept. 25 to Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the institutes, noting that he had 25 years of experience in vaccine development. “The taxpayers who pay my salary deserve no less.”


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