Jun 13, 2018

State Department adviser keeps a list of employees who are loyal to Trump

Donald Trump (left) and Mike Pompeo (right). Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Mari Stull, a former food lobbyist and wine blogger recently appointed as a senior adviser at the State Department, has been making a list of government officials and employees of international organizations who are loyal to President Trump, Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer report.

How she does it: She scours official's social media pages for any signs of political disagreement and researches to see if they've supported — or even merely signed off on — any Obama-era policies. She has vetted Americans working for agencies such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations as well, figuring out why and how they were hired, according to FP.

Why it matters: She has begun keeping some officials out of meetings with foreign counterparts, according to the FP's sources. At least three senior officials — deputy assistant secretaries of state Molly PheeErin Barclay, and Nerissa Cook — are expected to leave the State Department or at least change bureaus because of Stull's management and probing.

I have in my entire federal career never experienced anything at this level of chaos and dysfunction.
— Source to FP

What we don't know is whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who has vowed to bring State its "swagger" back — is aware of and/or encouraging Stull's actions.

    • A State Department spokesperson told FP that "Pompeo has shown his full support for career staff at the State Department and at the Central Intelligence Agency... Political retribution of any kind will not be tolerated and we take these allegations very seriously."

One key quote: FP writes, "while there’s no evidence that administration officials have purged American diplomats at the United Nations, they do seem to be more interested than previous ones in the political sympathies of lower-ranking U.S. employees there."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 652,079 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 137,319.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 116,505 — Total deaths: 1,925 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

Go deeperArrow37 mins ago - Health

Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 55 mins ago - Health