President Trump fires every US ambassador around the world – with no exceptions and no-one to replace them
Back on 23 December, Trump’s transition team announced that all ambassadors would be required to quit their posts by midday on Inauguration Day, 20 January 2017. There would be no exceptions and no extensions, even for those ambassadors with young families. It is not unusual for ambassadors to be required to offer their resignations upon the start of a new Presidency, but it is unusual that no-one has been appointed to replace them. Some ambassadors are thinking of appealing and have complained that Trump has allowed his own wife and child to remain in New York so not to disrupt his education, but they are being evicted without any hope of a grace period. Previous administrations would allow extensions for ambassadors on an individual basis if their family situation warranted it. Trump has so far only nominated two new ambassadors – lawyer David Friedman to Israel and Iowa Governor Terry Banstad to China. It could be months before Senate-approved ambassadors are in place. President Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump (pictured above), who was born in Czechoslovakia, has said that she would like to be ambassador to the Czech Republic, the countries present name after its split from Slovakia. It is uncertain if this will happen, but the Czech President Milos Zeman said that “they could not see a better US ambassador to Prague.” (read more)
Russia tries to distance itself from Trump
Despite President Putin’s supporters holding all-night parties to celebrate the inauguration of President Trump, they are denying and distancing themselves from claims that the government in Russia regard Trump as “our man.” Dmitry Peskov, a Russian government press secretary, told Russian state broadcaster Vesti: “He is not our man, he is America’s man. He is President of the United States of America. It must be the biggest mistake by Western analysts, by some of our political analysts, to consider him being our man.” This comes at a time when reports suggest that US intelligence is examining communications and financial transactions between Trump’s team and Russia, focusing on past and present contacts made by Trump’s advisors, including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A spokesman for Donald Trump denies any knowledge of an investigation: “We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” and Mr Manafort told the New York Times that it was a Democratic Party trick and completely false – something we are getting used to hearing from Trump and his team when something appears in the media they don’t like.
Russian media has been running flattering reports on Trump – focusing on his business achievements and his ritzy lifestyle. The Russian president is said to be keen to meet the new American President but Mr Peskov said: “This will not be in coming weeks. Let’s hope for the best, that the meeting will happen in the coming months.” It is thought that President Putin believes that the election of Trump as President will help relations between the two nations. (read more)
Some more stories to read…
- US Interior Department ordered to ‘immediately cease’ use of official Twitter accounts after anti-Trump retweets – The Independent
- Petition calling for release of Donald Trump’s tax returns reaches 100,000 needed for White House response – The Independent
- Theresa May to travel to US for Donald Trump talks next week – reports – The Guardian
I will be posting about all today’s women’s marches around the world tomorrow.