Tag Archives: State Department

Trump Admin Lifts Ban On Selling Silencers Overseas, Ban Was Meant To Protect US Troops From Ambushes

The New York Times reports: Michael B. Williams spent nearly two years helping to run a trade group focused on expanding sales of firearm silencers by American manufacturers. But try as he might, he could not achieve one of the industry’s main goals: overturning a ban on sales to private foreign buyers enacted by the State Department to protect American …

Read More »

State Department To Launch Pandemic Response Office

CNN reports: The Trump administration disbanded the National Security Council’s pandemic response office in 2018 — and now, on the defensive after a failed response to the coronavirus pandemic, they are planning to launch a similar office at the State Department. The National Security Council hosted an interagency meeting Thursday to discuss the plans for the office, which will fall …

Read More »

Four Trump Ambassadors Dumped Stocks In January

CNBC reports: Several U.S. ambassadors actively shed their stock holdings as President Donald Trump tried to downplay the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages. Ambassadors to Uruguay, France, Morocco and Italy sold shares in transactions that could have made them millions of dollars, according to financial disclosure filings reviewed by CNBC. Much of their sales were in January and continued …

Read More »

State Dept: White Supremacist Terrorism Is “Spreading”

The Hill reports: Racial and ethnic terrorism, particularly white supremacist threats, are “on the rise and spreading geographically” according to a State Department report released Wednesday. “The threat posed by racially or ethnically motivated terrorism (REMT), particularly white supremacist terrorism, remained a serious challenge for the global community,” the report reads. In 2019, the world experienced an uptick in white …

Read More »

In Briefing On Press Freedom, State Department Mutes Phone Line Of Reporter For Asking About Bolton’s Book

Politico reports: The State Department’s top spokeswoman on Monday muted the line of a reporter asking about John Bolton’s book during a briefing extolling press freedom. The Department convened a telephone briefing ahead of its designation of four additional Chinese news outlets as foreign missions. But when David Brunnstrom, a journalist from Reuters, asked whether U.S. allies had reached out …

Read More »

Senior State Official Quits Over Trump’s Racist Actions

The Washington Post reports: A senior State Department official who has served in the Trump administration since its first day is resigning over President Trump’s recent handling of racial tensions across the country — saying that the president’s actions “cut sharply against my core values and convictions.” Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, submitted her …

Read More »

Richard Grenell Resigns As US Ambassador To Germany

The Guardian reports: U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, a close political ally of President Donald Trump, has resigned after little more than two years in the job, an embassy spokesman said on Tuesday. “Ambassador Grenell resigned from his post and the State Department on June 1,” said the spokesman. Robin Quinville, deputy chief of mission at the embassy, will …

Read More »

Grenell To Step Down As US Ambassador To Germany

Politico reports: Richard Grenell will step down as U.S. ambassador to Berlin in a few weeks, according to a report from German outlet Die Welt based on information from the German Press Agency. President Donald Trump in February called Grenell back to Washington to take over as head of U.S. intelligence on an interim basis, replacing former acting Director of …

Read More »

Pompeo Flees Briefing Amid Grilling About Fired IG

CNBC reports: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday lashed out at Democrats investigating him, particularly Sen. Bob Menendez, as he defended his recommendation to President Donald Trump to fire the State Department’s internal watchdog. Pompeo has come under intense scrutiny since Trump followed through on his Cabinet official’s urging to fire Inspector General Steve Linick. “This is all coming …

Read More »

Pompeo: I Never Knew Fired IG Was Investigating Me

The Washington Post reports: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Monday that he asked President Trump to fire the State Department inspector general because his work was “undermining” the department’s mission, but he declined to describe any specific concerns. In a telephone interview, Pompeo said the decision was not an act of political retaliation, because he did not know beforehand …

Read More »

Fired IG Was Probing Pompeo’s “Misuse” Of Staffer

NBC News reports: A Democrat aide told NBC news the inspector general “was looking into the Secretary’s misuse of a political appointee at the Department to perform personal tasks for himself and Mrs. Pompeo.” Pompeo is married to Susan Pompeo, who’s been known to travel with the Secretary of State and was listed as “Special Assistant to the Secretary of …

Read More »

Interpol: Wife Of US Diplomat Now A Global Fugitive

The Guardian reports: An Interpol notice has been circulated worldwide making Anne Sacoolas effectively a fugitive from justice if she sets foot outside her native United States. Sacoolas was charged in the UK withcausing the death by dangerous driving of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn last August. The US refused to accept an extradition warrant, saying she enjoyed diplomatic immunity at …

Read More »

WaPo Sues State Dept For COVID Diplomatic Cables

The Washington Post reports: The Washington Post filed a lawsuit against the State Department late Friday after the agency denied speedy processing of the newspaper’s request to see diplomatic cables warning of safety issues at a coronavirus research lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global pandemic originated. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington centers …

Read More »

US Organizes Repatriation Flights For Stranded Citizens

Politico reports: The State Department is beginning to put together charter flights for Americans stranded overseas during the coronavirus pandemic, with Morocco and Peru scheduled soon — even as others stuck in Guatemala took matters into their own hands. The rush to bring Americans home comes after the State Department announced a level four travel advisory Thursday, and amid reports …

Read More »

US To Citizens Abroad: Come Home Now If You Can

Here’s the official warning I reported was coming: The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for …

Read More »

State Department To Warn Against International Travel

Politico reports: The State Department is set to announce a Level 4 travel advisory applying to all international travel, its most severe warning, three individuals with knowledge of the pending announcement said. The advisory, which appears to be unprecedented, would instruct all Americans abroad to either return to the United States or prepare to shelter in place, given the global …

Read More »

US Broadens Virus Travel Warnings And Restrictions

The New York Times reports: President Trump sought on Saturday to more aggressively address the coronavirus after weeks of confusion over his administration’s response, urging public calm and issuing new foreign travel warnings and restrictions. Mr. Trump presided over an abruptly announced news conference in the White House briefing room, at which Vice President Mike Pence announced that the administration …

Read More »

US Claims New Truce Agreement With The Taliban

The Associated Press reports: A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan. The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 …

Read More »

Anti-LGBT Tanzanian Official Banned From US, Created Surveillance Squad To Hunt Down And Imprison Gays

The BBC reports: A top Tanzanian official who launched a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people has been banned by the US from entering the country. The US state department said Paul Makonda, the administrative chief of the capital Dar es Salaam, was involved in “gross violations of human rights”. His immediate family members have also been barred …

Read More »

Marie Yovanovitch Retires From State Department

Axios reports: Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has retired from the State Department, NPR first reported. The career diplomat remained on payroll since she was ousted from the department last year, per NPR. Why it matters: During her closed-door deposition before House impeachment committees, Yovanovitch testified that President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani led the smear campaign that led to her …

Read More »