News media reported earlier that US Embassy Kyiv’s CDA Bill Taylor is stepping down at the end of the year (see US Embassy Ukraine Chargé d’Affaires Bill Taylor to Leave Kyiv at End of Year). WSJ has the follow-up report:
“Ulrich Brechbuhl, a key aide to Mr. Pompeo who serves as State Department counselor, informed Mr. Taylor on Dec. 11 that Mr. Pompeo had instructed him to hand over his responsibilities in Kyiv on Jan. 1, according to the person familiar with the situation.
Mr. Taylor is planning to leave the country on Jan. 2, and had understood that Mr. Pompeo wanted to avoid being photographed with him while visiting Ukraine, the person familiar with the situation said.”
The Daily Beast reported the following:
“Pompeo is now scheduled to arrive in Kyiv on Jan. 3, according to two U.S. officials and one Ukrainian official. Two other individuals familiar with his visit to Ukraine said the secretary wanted to visit the country after Taylor’s departure.[…] In conversation with department aides about planning a trip to Ukraine, Pompeo said he wanted to avoid the embassy altogether and would hold meetings in his hotel, according to two individuals with knowledge of those conversations.”
Holyswagger macaroni! That’s one leaky ship!
So no photo-op with the diplomats’ children at Embassy Kyiv for Miles With Mike? Or is Mike going to show up on Sikorsky Street and say BOO! to all creatures large and small for the new year? Stay tuned!
All righty. All righty. But hey, serious question. If true that the secretary did not want to be photographed with Ambassador Taylor, what are they going to do with the Embassy’s Counselor for Political Affairs David Holmes? Hide him in the vault? PM, please, or we would not get any sleep at all!
NEW: Pompeo plans to visit Ukraine January 3-4; U.S. Ambassador Bill Taylor was instructed to leave Kyiv just before the visit to avoid Pompeo being seen or photographed with himhttps://t.co/m2p734dxxn
— Georgi Kantchev (@georgikantchev) December 19, 2019
State Department aide told acting US ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor to hand over his duties just days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected visit Kiev in January, meaning the two won’t be pictured together, per @kylieatwood https://t.co/yQzdOCiNei
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 19, 2019
Pompeo is now scheduled to arrive in Kyiv on Jan. 3. Pompeo “wanted to visit the country after Taylor’s departure”. Taylor has been instructed to step aside before Pompeo’s trip.
“Pompeo said he wanted to avoid the embassy altogether and would hold meetings in his hotel.”
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) December 20, 2019
A Secretary of State avoiding a US Embassy – where one gets updates from the country team most informed on current events in the country – to hold meetings in a hotel that has no compartmented intel facility. Yup, totes secure, totes normal. https://t.co/QWm9L568bB
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) December 20, 2019