Posted: 12:43 am ET
Politico’s Nahal Toosi has a leaked State Department document reportedly alarming diplomats and others who say it shows the accumulation of power among a small and unaccountable group of senior aides to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The chart, obtained by POLITICO, illustrates the growing influence of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, which traditionally has served as an in-house think tank but which Tillerson heavily relies upon for day-to-day decision making. Critics already complain that the office — led by Brian Hook, a powerful Tillerson aide not subject to Senate confirmation — accepts too little input from career diplomats, and the chart, which lays out a method to craft foreign policy, shows no explicit role for them.
“This says to me that they are developing a new foreign policy structure that is designed to largely ignore those who know these regions and who know these issues,” said Brett Bruen, a former State Department official who served under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Folks, this is Foggy Bottom’s version of Carpool Karaoke where there are extremely limited seats available in the car, but in this version, no one tell each other they’re singing out of tune. Why not? The passengers don’t know what they don’t know and they all think they have great singing voices. Right.
That “Review Slides with S” is indeed “amazeballs.” But where are the effing charts and the laugh machine?
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) October 28, 2017
— POLITICO (@politico) October 27, 2017
— Ivo Daalder (@IvoHDaalder) October 27, 2017
AND NOW THIS — it looks like there’s a red on red campaign against S/P’s Brian Hook, who is publicly identified as a “de facto deputy” for the State Department by no less than one of the louder voices in Trump’s orbit. This same campaign is also directed against Tillerson sidekick Margaret Peterlin.
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) October 23, 2017
The pro-Trump Journal of American Greatness, affiliated with Michael Anton, goes on the war path against Brian Hook https://t.co/Zz490ll3Yn
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) October 22, 2017
Mick Cernovich who has been called an alt-right provocateur and Trump loyalist has tweeted about Tilleron’s aides Hook and Peterlin going back months.
Brian Hook, Tillerson’s de facto deputy, has repeatedly called Trump a moron and insulted him before world leaders. This is well known.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) October 4, 2017
Brian Hook and Margaret Peterlin, Never Trumpers, have blocked hiring. Hook even meets with foreign dignitaries, and insults Trump to them. https://t.co/s5p4rX6Pdg
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) September 11, 2017
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) June 6, 2017
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE – Mr. Tillerson who came to Washington with an aversion for the press has now given multiple interviews to several media outlets presumably to help … um with what now appears to be a prevailing public’s view of his poor stewardship of the State Department. One of the latest interviews, this one with Bloomberg News:
—he doesn’t know what to make of news reports that morale is low at his agency and that he’s not doing a good job running it. “I walk the halls, people smile,” he says in a recent interview in his spacious office in Washington. “If it’s as bad as it seems to be described, I’m not seeing it, I’m not getting it.”
The former U.S. ambassador to Qatar gave the secretary of state a suggestion on how he can “communicate better” and also “get” what the problem is at the State Department. Is that a quiet applause we’re hearing?
In an interview, Tillerson acknowledged he needs to communicate better with his people. https://t.co/ldgOO8tZfs
— Nicholas Wadhams (@nwadhams) October 26, 2017
Tillerson wants to communicate better with State and “get” what the problem is? Start by firing Margaret Peterlin. https://t.co/nz1Rodq4iU
— Dana Shell Smith (@AmbDana) October 26, 2017