Right now I don’t have several free hours to take on the task of trying to sort out the confusion in this story, as evidence by the first three headlines listed at Memeorandum:
—From the WaPo: “The State Department’s entire management team just resigned.”
—From Talking Points Memo: “Report: Entire State Department Management Team Fired By Trump Admin.”
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” David Wade, State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry, told the newspaper. “Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”
—From CNN: “Trump administration asks top State Department officials to leave.”
Legal Insurrection’s Mary Chastain writes:
No one knows for sure if Kennedy left on his own or if someone pushed him out. He had taken on the responsibility to help the transition to the Trump administration. Him leaving surprised many in the department. One officials told the Post that all of those people “had previously submitted their letters of resignation, as was required for all positions that are appointed by the president and that require confirmation by the Senate, known as PAS positions.”
But Ambassador Richard Boucher, a former State Department spokesman under Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, said that usually the old team stays put to help the new team transition smoothly. He cannot believe these people left such important positions unmanned…
And at Hot Air, John Sexton writes:
Patrick Kennedy was the person working behind the scenes to downgrade classified emails found on Hillary Clinton’s private server. When the first SECRET email turned up on Clinton’s server, Kennedy intervened three different times to ask the FBI to change its mind about the classification…
In addition to his role as fixer for Clinton at the State Department, Kennedy was ultimately responsible for decisions regarding security at the Benghazi consulate. The review board did not find Kennedy responsible for the decision to cut security, but chargé d’affaires Gregory Hicks testified he believed Kennedy should have been held at least partly responsible.
As far as I can see, we still don’t know the sequence of events.
We also still don’t know whether this matters or will have a positive or negative effect on State Department business. My guess? Positive.
[NOTE: The title of this post is a reference to this Richard Thompson song.]