USA under Trump Series Brace for Trump vs Spy showdown

Alicia WestJan 08, 2017

But this time Donald Trump has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama's political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on January 20, the news paper says.

Diplomats selected by a U.S. president are expected to leave their posts after the president's term expires, but they are as a rule granted an extension for months or weeks past that date to let their children remain in school.

While it is standard procedure for ambassadors - particularly political appointees sent by the previous administration - to submit in their resignation when a new administration takes over, the process is usually marked by cordiality and accommodation. Republican and Democrat administrations allowed extensions on a discretionary individual by individual basis, with allowances sometimes being made for those with children at school.

Even staying on in a private capacity will involve finding new digs, nannies, changing visa status and other logistical hassles.

While the Times cited a senior Trump transition official as saying that there was no "ill will" in the order, many ambassadors are considering approaching Trump's nominee for secretary of state Rex Tillerson to appeal the decision. "So, Barron Trump gets to stay in NY so not to disrupt his school year but children of all USA ambassadors dont get the same kindness?" one critic tweeted. Politically appointed ambassadors do not typically have a long track record of diplomatic service, and US embassies generally have what is known as a "deputy chief of mission", who is responsible for day-to-day operations at their assigned embassy.


Following precedent set by both parties, Obama also handed out numerous ambassadorships to his campaign donors and other supporters.

So far, Mr Trump has only named bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman as ambassador to Israel and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as his ambassador to China.

A former professional baseball player, he was appointed by Barack Obama and is a personal friend of the outgoing president.

Trump's move marked an unprecedented break from the tradition of extending the ambassadors' stay for some time, giving them enough time to make the required arrangements.

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