Updated 1135 am PDT
On January 2018, we posted about the nomination of Leandro Rizzuto to be U.S. Ambassador to Barbados (Prominent Businessman Leandro Rizzuto Jr to be Ambassador to Barbados, But Wait – #ForgotSomething?). The nomination was not acted by the Senate and was resubmitted for renomination by the White House in 2019 (see White House Submits Some @StateDept/Related Agencies Re-nominations to the Senate). This nomination was sent to a GOP majority Senate in the 115th Congress and the 116th Congress with no action from the Senate. The last actions according to congress.gov for PN136:
01/16/2019: Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
01/03/2020: Returned to the President under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate;
On May 27, 2020, Mr. Pompeo announced the appointment of Lee Rizzuto to be the next Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Bermuda, a post typically held by career diplomats. Actually, we could not recall a political appointee at this level in more than a decade of blogging. This position does not require Senate confirmation, which means, they could chuck out the current consul general this week and have this guy packed out and sent down to the island before the month is over.
Foggy Bottom’s top champion of diplomacy strikes again!
According to its website, “the American Consulate General in Hamilton plays an integral role in Bermuda’s political, social and cultural communities. The main office is located at “Crown Hill,” a historic property, just outside the city of Hamilton, that is owned by the US Government. Approximately 40 employees, including the Consul General, Deputy Principal Officer, Consul, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director and officers are assigned to the Consulate General.”
Updated: We understand that the Reagan Administration started the tradition of a political appointee in Bermuda (Thanks K!). In December 1981, Max L. Friedersdorf an assistant to the President for legislative affairs resigned and was announced simultaneously as the next consul general to Bermuda, “a post that usually goes to career Foreign Service employees rather than to political appointees.”
In 2005, George W. Bush appointed Gregory Slayton as U.S. Consul General to Bermuda (Thanks K2). He was sworn in by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on August 15, 2005.
Note that Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. That’s right. The U.S. Consulate General in Hamilton is part of the United States Mission to the United Kingdom.
Also quick question, once Pompeo is done installing a political donor to USCG Hamilton, which post is next? The U.S. Virtual Presence Post in Wales may also be available. For the record, there are 75 more consulates general in the U.S. Foreign Service, and there are still 160 days till election day.
- WH’s Pick For Barbados Ambassadorship “Should Feel Free to Put on His Tinfoil Hat” Sez @SenSasse Spox 2018
- Top Most Expensive Places to Live in the Foreign Service2009
Pleased to announce Lee Rizzuto will be the next Principal Officer at our Consulate General in Hamilton. There he will lead our great @StateDept team in further strengthening our economic and cultural ties with Bermuda.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020
Lee Rizzuto – a big Trump donor and hair dryer heir – nomination to be ambassador to Barbados was never taken up after we reported he spread conspiracies.
The admin. just circumvented Senate approval by naming him "principal officer" at the consulate.https://t.co/h05UWMRUe1
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) May 27, 2020
Two years into what is usually a three year post, Trump is replacing a senior foreign service officer with the heir to a beauty products fortune as U.S. Consul General, Bermuda.https://t.co/F6sekdKIsj
— Dan Baer (@danbbaer) May 27, 2020
New: Trump names billionaire son of Conair founder Lee Rizutto as US Ambassador to Barbados. WH statement >> pic.twitter.com/7gAGdOIhJM
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) January 5, 2018