State Dept. weighs eliminating democracy promotion as goal: report

State Dept. weighs eliminating democracy promotion as goal: report
© Greg Nash

The State Department is considering eliminating the promotion of democracy from its mission statement as part of an effort to overhaul the agency, according to a Washington Post columnist.

According to an email sent to State Department employees on Friday and obtained by the Post's Josh Rogin, statements on the agency's mission, purpose and ambition do not contain language regarding the promotion of democracy.

The statements are being circulated among agency employees for comment and could be changed, according to Rogin, who writes about foreign policy and national security.

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The department's current mission statement clearly lays out its effort to "shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere." 

Since taking office, Rogin writes, President Trump has put less emphasis than previous presidents on promoting democracy and human rights. The president said in his inauguration speech, for example, that the U.S. does not "seek to impose our way of life on anyone."

Trump has, however, mentioned human rights and democracy promotion in Cuba. During a speech in June, Trump pointed to the communist island nation's repressive government as a reason for rolling back some of the Obama administration's policies.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror Tillerson condemns violence against LGBT people on Transgender Day of Remembrance MORE has also sought to promote the president's "America first" agenda, explaining to State Department employees during a speech in May that promoting U.S. "values" sometimes "creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests."