Trump's election has changed Obama's post-presidency plans

President-elect Donald Trump's staff has issued a blanket directive to "political" ambassadors to end their service by Inauguration Day, according to multiple media reports.

The move, first reported by The New York Times, leaves the USA without top envoys at key posts such as Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan and Saudi Arabia until President-elect Donald Trump nominates successors and they are confirmed, a process that could take months. Usually, the diplomats get a grace period to make the exit.

A State Department official confirmed to Politico that even in the case where ambassadors request extensions, the Trump transition team said no exceptions would be allowed. It applies to everyone and no exceptions will be made.

The Senate needs to confirm U.S. envoys to other countries and the blanket order for the ambassadors leaves United States with no representatives in important countries like Germany, Canada, Britain for months, said New York Times.

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However, Obama's transition team sent out similar guidance - eight years ago - telling ambassadors appointed by President George W. Bush they had to leave their posts by Inauguration Day.

Trump has taken a strict stance against leaving any of Obama's political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on January 20, aiming to break up many of his predecessor's signature foreign and domestic policy achievements, the newspaper said.

"I don't recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, 'Everybody out of the pool immediately, '" added Ronald E. Neumann, president of the Washington, D.C. -based nonprofit association of ambassadors, the American Academy of Diplomacy.

  • Adam Floyd