This Trump appointee is doing 'loyalty checks' at the State Department
Mari Stull, a former beverage lobbyist and "Vino Vixen" blogger, is rooting out career officials who aren't Trump loyalists.
President Trump has frequently talked about demanding loyalty from the people around him. Now someone's making a list.
On Wednesday, "Foreign Policy" reported that Mari Stull, a senior adviser to the Bureau of Informational Affairs (BIOA), is vetting diplomats, State Department employees and United Nations staffers to ensure they're loyal to Trump. Stull, who has been on the job since April, is examining social-media pages and which policies diplomats have signed off on, making a list of those whose allegiance to Trump is questionable.
People who are viewed as "suspicious" are excluded from meetings and briefings, and at least three career officials are ready to quit because of Stull's efforts. “I have in my entire federal career never experienced anything at this level of chaos and dysfunction,” one source told "Foreign Policy."
Some lawmakers are up in arms about the loyalty checks. “This conduct is totally unacceptable, and adds to my concern about the treatment of career personnel by this Administration,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who sits on the House committee that oversees the State Department, told Talking Points Memo. “I’ll be looking into this, and I won’t stand for any more stonewalling from the State Department."
Before becoming the federal government's version of Roz from "9 to 5," Stull was a lobbyist for the food and beverage industry. She once blogged about wine under the nickname "Vino Vixen," says "Foreign Policy."
A State Department spokesperson wouldn't comment on the specifics of the "Foreign Policy" report but gave the magazine a statement anyway, saying Stull and her boss “are committed to President Trump’s vision of strong American leadership on the world stage, and the mission of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which is charged with advancing U.S. national interest by engaging with the United Nations and other international agencies and organizations.”
“Secretary Pompeo has shown his full support for career staff at the State Department and at the Central Intelligence Agency,” the spokesperson added. “Political retribution of any kind will not be tolerated and we take these allegations very seriously.”