A career diplomat, Michael Mckinley has resigned from the State Department. He was a senior advisor to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo—who has recently made some questionable calls on behalf of the President. These calls are beginning to lead to the resignation of many career diplomats.
Mckinley, one of many diplomats who has resigned or been forced out under the Trump administration, had a long career in which he served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru.
His resignation comes Thursday evening, amidst the impeachment inquiry which has been nothing short of a disaster since Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced it a couple of weeks ago.
While Mckinley’s reason for resigning remains to be known, the Washington Post did report on his despondency with Pompeo’s lack of support for other diplomats who are getting pulled into the Ukraine controversy. A number of diplomats have been called to testify before the House as they continue to conduct the impeachment inquiry against Trump. However, Mike Pompeo hasn’t shown any public support for these individuals, which is leading to disappointment.
Numerous senior advisors who have been with the State Department for decades are continuing to resign or get forced out, which is leading to a downward spiral of the US diplomatic corps.
Marie Yovanovitch is currently on leave from the State Department but was one of the many diplomats who hasn’t been given an ounce of support from the Secretary of State. Instead, she’s received endless backlash after undergoing an attack from right-wing media outlets.
In Trump’s time as president, he has forced such a large number of career diplomats out, just to replace them with people of his choice. He currently holds a close-fisted record for any recent president assigning partisan appointees to ambassadorships.
Since John F Kennedy was in office, presidents have generally used a standard formula for ambassadors- some 70% are career diplomats and 30% are political appointees. However, Trump currently has about 55% of political appointees, while the remaining 45% are career diplomats. Currently, there are 28 top-notch assistant secretary positions at the State Department, and only one is filled by a senior career officer.
As more senior officials follow in the footsteps of Michael Mckinley, the less the world will respect the US Diplomatic Corps.