Bonn, Germany — A top State Department official who was supposed to be America's lead climate negotiator here at a conference isn't coming. The department said the official, Tom Shannon, isn't coming because of a family emergency.
Judith Garber, a lower level State Department official, is coming instead.
Why it matters: Regardless of the reasons, the optics look bad. The Trump administration has said it's going to withdraw America from the Paris deal and doesn't acknowledge climate change is a problem in need of addressing. This shuffle makes it appear like the administration — the politically appointed people versus the career staff — is divided over how to position itself at the conference.