President-elect Donald Trump’s team has ordered all politically appointed ambassadors leave their posts by Inauguration Day, according to a report published Thursday citing several diplomats. Most diplomats interviewed in The New York Times report said it made perfect sense for Obama-appointed envoys to leave their posts as the president they represent leaves his, but no one could recall an instance in which such a strict timeline was used. The State Department previously told all politically appointed ambassadors to submit their resignations by Jan. 20, though they had the option of seeking to extend their term. Ronald E. Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and a career Foreign Service officer, was cited by the Times saying, “I don’t recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, ‘Everybody out of the pool immediately.’” Diplomats familiar with the situation said the mandate was quite harsh, and issued “without exceptions” in a cable sent Dec. 23. It threatens to leave several countries without U.S. envoys for months and make allies nervous at the abrupt and drastic policy change.
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