The former Secretary of State sounded the alarm over Donald Trump’s perpetual marginalization of our nation’s diplomats.
Donald Trump’s consistent position seems to be that the State Department is not an important or useful arm of the U.S. government, or even foreign policy specifically.
In a Fox News interview on Thursday night, Trump said that he was not concerned about the huge number of unfilled jobs in the State Department because, in his view, “I’m the only one that matters.” He added that he doesn’t know if he is even going to keep Secretary of State Rex Tillerson around much longer.
One former prominent diplomat has had enough of this dangerous rhetoric. According to Reuters, former Secretary of State Colin Powell met with the administration and expressed his concern about Trump’s damage to the department:
At a recent meeting of former national security advisers, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security advisor, that the administration was gutting State. McMaster replied that there were people who did not support the president’s agenda, two people present told Reuters.
Powell’s alarm is shared by many others, including Sen. Bob Corker, who accused Trump of “publicly castrating” Tillerson, and Tillerson himself, who called Trump a “fucking moron” after Trump suggested a tenfold increase in the nuclear arsenal.
Not only has Trump slacked off on filling State Department vacancies, he has also done end-runs around the normal diplomatic process, threatening foreign countries with tweets and bringing his children on international trips in place of Tillerson or his ambassadors.
Meanwhile, Trump is pulling the few career State Department workers available to him off their jobs to dig through Hillary Clinton’s emails in furtherance of his undying obsession with his 2016 opponent.
Trump promised that he would put “America First.” Apparently, that means refusing to even hire people to talk to other countries, and decimating the department that helps maintain our connections to the rest of the world.