Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees

Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees
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A federal watchdog alleges that top officials in the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs harassed and mistreated staffers, according to an inspector general report published Thursday.

The report accused officials of engaging in "disrespectful and hostile treatment" of staffers, and alleges that officials harassed some staffers over suspicions that they were "disloyal" to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE.

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The watchdog found that at least one top career employee was pushed out of her role for inappropriate reasons, while others had their duties stripped from them because of their superiors' political views.

The report claims Kevin Moley, assistant secretary of State for the department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, failed to prevent the alleged mistreatment in spite of multiple complaints. The document also cites numerous examples of alleged inappropriate behavior by Mari Stull, who previously was a senior political appointee in the bureau. 

The two were accused of having "frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff," according to the report. The IG report also found that Moley and Stull treated employees in a "harsh and aggressive manner," engaged in "disrespectful and hostile treatment," and created a "negative and 'vindictive' environment." 

The report said that about 50 domestic employees have left the IO since Moley took over. Of those who were interviewed by the watchdog, most cited poor leadership as a factor in their decision.

The report was based on more than 40 interviews and thousands of emails and other documents.  

“Nearly every employee interviewed by OIG raised concerns about the leadership of IO and the treatment of staff,” the report stated.

“When individuals raised concerns with Ms. Stull about her treatment of employees, she asserted that she was herself the victim of harassment and informed at least one employee that raising such concerns was pointless because the Trump administration ‘has my back,’” the report continued.

Moley responded to the investigation that the alleged events described within the report are "mischaracterized," saying that contextual information is missing and also that there are factual inaccuracies. 

"The behavior attributed to me regarding raising my voice, berating employees and contributing to a hostile work environment does not represent the person I am or have ever been," he said in his response. 

Foreign Policy reported last year that Stull was vetting employees for loyalty to Trump.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence MORE (D-Md.) on Friday issued a statement in response to the report, writing that career State Department employees had told the committee "for years" about alleged "politically motivated retaliation and mistreatment by the Trump Administration."

"This report leaves no doubt that Trump Administration political appointees have mismanaged the Department and violated the public trust, and the American people deserve swift action to hold those officials accountable and to root out this systemic problem from throughout the State Department and the rest of the Administration,” Cummings said.

Updated Aug. 16 at 12:56 p.m.