The staff fired this week were in one of the few top offices that directly report to the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (the office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, per CBS.
Why this matters: A former State Department official told Axios the Deputy Secretary of State may have to pick up the slack for this empty office, which may rob the State Department of focused regional policy-making and guidance that helps U.S. diplomats do their job.
"Given the current environment I don't know why you wouldn't take advantage" of the management office, a former senior State Department official told Axios, referring to the other four senior management State officers who were recently asked to pack their bags.
The buzz around State is that Trump could be planning to eliminate this office, a current senior State Department official told Axios.
This adds to the signals that the White House is trying to step up its role in foreign policy. The senior State Department official told Axios this is normal, but that the POTUS traditionally works through the National Security Council. These dismissals also add to the concern that diplomats' ability to influence policy is already under attack since Sean Spicer said diplomats can "either get with the program or they can go" after hundreds signed a dissent channel a few weeks ago.