Meanwhile, in the State Department

The Guardian reports:

The Trump White House carried out an abrupt purge of the state department’s senior leadership last week, removing key officials from posts that are essential to the day-to-day running of the department and US missions abroad.

[…] The purge has left a gaping hole at the heart of US diplomacy: the incoming secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has yet to be confirmed and the Trump team has not named candidates to fill several levels of leadership under him.

[…] In the past, the state department has been asked to set up early foreign contacts for an incoming administration. This time however it has been bypassed, and Trump’s immediate circle of Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Reince Priebus are making their own calls.

At the same time, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been demoted, and is now merely an optional attendee at the National Security Council, while Steve Bannon has been added to the roster.

Look, I understand, the executive power of the United States resides in the President, and Trump has enormous leeway to do what he wants with the executive branch. But having the authority to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Trump is gutting the executive branch of anyone who might challenge him, and he’s not being subtle about it. This is really, really bad.

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