State Dept workers vent over Trump, Tillerson in survey


State Department workers expressed frustration toward President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a new survey, the results of which were obtained by The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

The results of the survey are expected to be released Wednesday. According to the Journal, workers said in the survey that they worry Trump and Tillerson don’t understand the role of the State Department in foreign policy.

“People question if these two groups understand the role the Department of State plays in forwarding the interests of the United States in the world,” it reads.

In addition, the report finds that workers are increasingly nervous about the future of the agency.

{mosads}“People do not speak optimistically about the future,” the survey says. “The absence of a clear vision of the future allows room for speculation and rumor about what the future could bring, such as further [U.S. Agency of International Development] integration into the [State Department] or the militarization of foreign policy.”

When asked to comment on Tillerson’s job performance directly, some respondents were “highly complimentary,” while others were “coarse and vulgar.”

Some individual respondents fretted about Trump’s planned budget cuts to the State Department. In February, Trump proposed a 37 percent cut to the agency’s budget.

“I am concerned that the dramatic reduction in budget, paired with extended staffing gaps at the most senior level, will result in the loss of not only an exceptionally talented group of people from our ranks, but will hamper our impact to fulfill our mission for decades to come,” an employee wrote.

Another agreed, saying the cuts would leave the agency without necessary resources for vital missions.

“We will be left with only the resources to coordinate among ourselves and write reports,” said the employee. “It will be a short political win over long-term strategy.”

Ultimately, employees stressed that their loyalty to the agency isn’t in question.

“We want to jump in your lap and will be as loyal as the day is long,” one respondent wrote.

The State Department paid a consulting firm $1.1 million to compile the survey, which contains results from 35,386 employees.

In February, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) indicated that Trump’s proposed cuts to the State Department would never see the light of day.

“It’s not going to happen,” Graham said in February. “It would be a disaster. A budget this lean would put those who serve overseas for the State Department at risk. And it’s not going to happen.”

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