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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 23, 2017, 04:54:25 pm

Title: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 23, 2017, 04:54:25 pm

from The Washington Post....

Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands
just got caught lying about the Dutch

Pete Hoekstra called it “fake news”.
Then the reporter showed him a video clip.

By AMANDA ERICKSON | 2:16PM EST — Friday, December 22, 2017

(https://crooksandliars.com/files/mediaposters/2017/12/37933.jpg) (https://twitter.com/sunny_hundal/status/944158714835107840)
(click on the picture to view the video clip @ Twitter)

A DUTCH JOURNALIST just asked new U.S. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra why he said there are “no go” areas in the Netherlands, where radical Muslims are setting cars and politicians on fire.

Hoekstra denied it, and called the claim “fake news”.

The report cut to a video clip of Hoekstra at a 2015 conference hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (https://tinyurl.com/y86sedp9) saying: “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned.”

“And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands,” he added in the clip.

Then things got extremely weird.

When the reporter pressed, Hoekstra denied using the term fake news, which he'd uttered moments before.

“I didn't call that fake news,” he said. “I didn't use the words today. I don't think I did.”

Hoekstra was being interviewed by reporter Wouter Zwart for current affairs program Nieuwsuur. The interview is not playing well in the Netherlands. (One sample headline (https://dutchreview.com/news/international-news/the-new-trump-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-pete-hoekstra-lies-about-his-own-lies): “The new Trump Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, lies about his own lies.")

But the former congressman was always going to be a tough sell for one of Europe's most liberal countries.

Though Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands, his family emigrated to Michigan when we was a toddler. He served as a Republican congressman for a decade and a half, eventually chairing the House Intelligence Committee.

In that time, he adopted several positions that are at odds with core Dutch values. Hoekstra is opposed to same-sex marriage and gay rights. In Congress, he voted repeatedly to limit women's rights to abortion. He supports the death penalty and has argued passionately that refugees are a threat to European security.

Hoekstra has given several talks at the anti-Islam American Freedom Alliance, which has also hosted Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders. In 2015, Hoekstra blamed a “secret jihad” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/07/28/trump-nominates-a-gay-rights-opponent-to-serve-as-ambassador-to-the-netherlands) for the “chaos” in the Netherlands.

After Trump announced Hoekstra's appointment, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant observed that Trump “put a Dutchman in the Netherlands — but it is a Dutchman from the Netherlands of the '50s.”

Of the appointment, liberal politician Sophie in 't Veld said: “We are looking forward with interest to cooperating with Mr. Hoekstra. We will certainly remind him his roots lie in a country that values tolerance, equality and inclusion…. We expect the representative of our friend and ally the United States to fully and wholly respect our values and to show that respect in all his acts and words.”

• Amanda Erickson writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Previously, she worked as an editor for Outlook (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook) and PostEverything (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything).


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: How to spot fake news (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/60daed34-adb2-11e6-8f19-21a1c65d2043_video.html)

 • Trump's pick for ambassador to this gay-friendly country is a gay rights opponent (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/07/28/trump-nominates-a-gay-rights-opponent-to-serve-as-ambassador-to-the-netherlands)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch)

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: aDjUsToR on December 23, 2017, 06:05:35 pm
Ho hum. Looks like more lefty fake / distorted/ misleading news 😁

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 23, 2017, 08:39:38 pm

Yeah, right.

Except that, not only is there actual footage of the LIAR saying what he claimed he didn't say, while labelling it “fake news”, but when shown that footage, he then denied he'd called it “fake news” even though he had been filmed saying exactly that only a minute before.

I guess if you are makiing excuses for blatantly lying, then this means that you are a LIAR yourself, 'cause it takes a LIAR to defend a LIAR and attempt to distort the truth.

So I'm going to call you LIAR in every post from now on.

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 24, 2017, 12:58:34 am
hey you festering lefty clown who cares what he said you put up with obama's lies for 8 years

there are no go zones full of angry Muhammadan all over europe







Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 24, 2017, 01:41:28 pm

Ah, I get it....you worship dishonest people.

Such as Donald J. Trump.

Such as Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands.

Such as Trump's bullshitter-in-chief, that stupid fat ugly bitch who tells lies on his behalf at The White House.

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: aDjUsToR on December 24, 2017, 07:16:45 pm
KTJ. Serial no go zone denier 😁

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 24, 2017, 09:22:14 pm

Face facts.

Trump's man to the Netherlands denied he made a speech saying there are no-go zones in that country.

When confronted by a TV reporter, he denied he'd ever said that and called it “fake news”.

The TV reporter replayed the footage of the speech and confronted Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands with it.

Trump's bullshit artist then lied about his lie about his original speech.

He was too stupid to comprehend that he was being recorded, both visually, and sonically.

Faaaaaaark.....that's what the Trump administration is all about....BLATANT LIES upon LIES upon LIES upon LIES upon LIES, ad infinium.

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: aDjUsToR on December 25, 2017, 10:27:17 am
Mere trivia. He new the idiot media cant handle the truth. That is it.

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: aDjUsToR on December 25, 2017, 10:50:43 am
What's the big deal about admitting there are no go zones all across Europe??? Further proof of lefties having fried brains 😁

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 11, 2018, 06:36:45 pm

from The Washington Post....

Trump's ambassador to Netherlands was asked to name a person
‘burned’ because of Islam. He couldn't.

Dutch journalists questioned Trump appointee Peter Hoekstra on anti-Muslim remarks he made.
He refused to answer.

By ELI ROSENBERG and AMAR NADHIR | 11:21PM EST — Wednesday, January 10, 2018

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1150w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2018-01-10/Getty/AFP_W72TY.jpg) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2018-01-10/Getty/AFP_W72TY.jpg)
U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra takes questions from the press on Wednesday. — Photograph: John Thys/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PETER HOEKSTRA, the newly minted U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, held his first conference with the Dutch media at his new residence in the Hague on Wednesday.

It did not go well.

Dutch journalists peppered Hoekstra, who became Trump's ambassador after serving 18 years as a Republican congressman from Michigan, with questions on unsubstantiated claims he made in 2015 about the chaos the “Islamic movement” had brought to the Netherlands.

“There are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned,” he had said at a conference hosted by a conservative group. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”

The comments have widely been described as inaccurate, and reflect certain conspiracies about sharia law that crop up in some circles of the far-right in the West. When pressed by the Dutch reporters, Hoekstra declined to retract the comments or give specific examples to back them up.

In fact, after saying that he would be “revisiting the issue,” he simply refused to answer the question at all.

But the reporters were not done with the line of questioning yet. Instead of moving on, another reporter would simply ask a variation on the question again.

“Everybody there had one question: that crazy statement you made, are you going to withdraw it?” said Roel Geeraedts, a political reporter at the Dutch television station RTL Nieuws in a phone interview about the event. “We were not getting answers, so we all kept asking it.”

Geeraedts published a segment with video of the remarkable exchange (https://twitter.com/RGjournalist/status/951102206325002240) on social media.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/951101633399808001/pu/img/JQkQmeGFbsFjE8f2.jpg) (https://twitter.com/RGjournalist/status/951102206325002240)
(click on the image to view the video clip at Twitter)

After at least one person had asked the question, Geeraedts followed up to ask Hoekstra about a John Adams quote — Adams was the United States' first ambassador to Holland — that was mounted right behind the ambassador. Hoekstra said he had read the quote, which expresses Adams' hope that only “honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”

“If you're truly an honest and wise man, could you please take back the remark about burned politicians or name the politician that was burned in the Netherlands?” Geeraedts asked.

An uncomfortable silence followed the question.

“Thank you,” Hoekstra said, before trying to call on someone else over the clamor of the reporters in the room.

“Excuse me, I asked you a question,” Geeraedts said.

Another journalist jumped in.

“Mr. Ambassador, can you mention any example of a Dutch politician who was burned in recent years?”

Again, silence, as Hoekstra stared around the room.

“This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions,” another reporter said.

Sherry Keneson-Hall, an embassy counselor who was helping run the news conference, pushed back, asserting that Hoekstra was answering the questions.

At least one more journalist fired the question off. Reporters had asked the question at least five times.

“We were all astonished that he didn't want to take back the comment. It was simply untrue, so why not take it back?” said Geeraedts. “It was awkward, to be honest.”

Hoekstra has been in hot water in the Netherlands for the remarks since he was first confronted by a Dutch journalist, Wouter Zwart (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch), in December. Hoekstra falsely claimed to Zwart that he had never made the remarks and called them “fake news”. Moments later, he denied that he had called them fake news.

Video of the bizarre exchange, juxtaposed with his “no-go zone” remarks, went viral, and the episode drew a slew of critical headlines in the United States and the Netherlands.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/943990701301395462/pu/img/eONfF-6jjCk5k-V1.jpg) (https://twitter.com/sunny_hundal/status/944158714835107840)
(click on the image to view the video clip at Twitter)

Hoekstra's silence when faced with reporters' questions on Wednesday drew a similar response.

“Embarrassing performance from controversial ambassador,” read a web headline at De Telegraaf (https://www.telegraaf.nl/video/1524035/video-genant-optreden-omstreden-ambassadeur), one of the country's largest newspapers. “Ambassador Hoekstra lost his way again in The Hague,” read another. “Very uncomfortable meeting between ambassador and journalists,” went RTL Nieuws (https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/laatste-videos-nieuws/zeer-ongemakkelijke-ontmoeting-tussen-ambassadeur-en-journalisten).

Hoekstra pointed to the public regrets (https://twitter.com/petehoekstra/status/944616425284685824) he had made for the exchange with Zwart on Wednesday. But he did not clarify whether the apology was meant to include the no-go zone comments when asked on Wednesday. At one point, he seemed to indicate that he was most concerned about the interview, not the statements.

“It is not about my personal views anymore. This is about the views on the policies of the United States of America as directed by this administration,” he said. “One interview is not going to have an impact. The other thing I just want to reinforce, this relationship has been maintained by countless people over the last 400 years, this is not about me.”

A CNN report (http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/09/politics/kfile-pete-hoekstra-no-go-zones/index.html) published this week documented multiple times Hoekstra had referred to “no-go zones,” in European cities during appearances on conservative media, including talk radio, and a print op-ed (http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/879.pdf), and unearthed other instances where he had given fuel to conspiracy theories about Muslims.

He speculated that some 10-15 percent of the Muslim community in the world — 270 million people — were radical Islamist militants and appeared to imply that Huma Abedin had “egregious” ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim that The Washington Post's fact-checker Glenn Kessler (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/08/25/does-huma-abedin-have-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood), and other publications, have determined as “bogus”. On another far-right show (https://soundcloud.com/user-429524614/pete-hoekstra-speculates-obama?in=user-429524614/sets/pete-hoekstra), Hoekstra said he had considered the possibly that President Barack Obama might be intentionally aiding the rise of Muslim extremists.

The State Department did not return a request for comment.

Geeraedts said he believed that Hoekstra's behavior confirmed some suspicions the Dutch have about the Trump administration.

“A lot of Dutch people have seen the press conferences of the White House and seen how some questions are not answered,” he said. “Everybody knows about ‘alternative facts’. And this fits that picture.”

He said that the press corps' unwillingness to let the question go was a spontaneous response, and said he had seen a similar tactic employed on a smaller scale when Dutch politicians gave evasive answers to direct questions. But he said politics in the Netherlands differed a bit from the current situation in the United States.

“In the Netherlands you don't get a straight up answer, if you ask straight up questions,” he said. “But you hardly get false answers.”

• Eli Rosenberg is a reporter on The Washington Post's General Assignment team.

• Amar Nadhir is social media editor at The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands just got caught lying about the Dutch (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt)

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 13, 2018, 12:53:57 am

from The Washington Post....

Trump's new ambassador ignored questions from Dutch
reporters. Now, U.S. reporters want answers.

The State Department distanced itself on Thursday from the Trump appointees'
anti-Muslim remarks, saying “the ambassador made mistakes”.

By ELI ROSENBERG | 10:13PM EST - Thursday, January 11, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_825w/WashingtonPost/Content/Blogs/worldviews/201801/Images/AFP_W72TL.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/WashingtonPost/Content/Blogs/worldviews/201801/Images/AFP_W72TL.jpg)
U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra. — Photograph: John Thys/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

THE State Department distanced itself on Wednesday from the baseless anti-Muslim theory spread by its ambassador to the Netherlands a few years ago, but it declined to call the remarks inaccurate.

During a news conference at the State Department's headquarters in Washington, Undersecretary Steve Goldstein told reporters that Pete Hoekstra, the new U.S. ambassador in the Netherlands, had “made comments that should not have been made” when asked about Hoekstra's statements about Muslim no-go zones and people being burned alive because of the Islamic movement.

“The Ambassador made mistakes in 2015,” said Goldstein, who like Hoekstra, is a recent political appointee. “Those comments were not the position of the State Department, and you will never hear those words from this podium.”

Still, Goldstein refused to label Hoekstra's comments inaccurate despite being pressed by reporters at the briefing.

Goldstein was asked whether he believed there were any no-go zones in Europe.

“I'll get back to you on that question,” he said. “That's not the language we would use.”

In 2015, Hoekstra spoke at a conference hosted by a right-wing anti-terrorism group, claiming without evidence that the “Islamic movement” had brought chaos to the Netherlands.

“There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned,” he said. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”

The remarks, which play off an unsupported theory that is popular in right-wing media, have been the subject of multiple inquiries by Dutch reporters, who asked Hoekstra repeatedly (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt) to provide evidence for them or retract the remarks during a tense first meeting with him on Wednesday. Hoekstra has declined to substantiate the remarks, and he did not clarify an apology he gave in December after making false statements to a reporter (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch) who had asked about them.

During the exchange on Wednesday, which was captured on video, the ambassador fell silent as a series of reporters continued to query him, drawing a slew of critical headlines in the Netherlands and coverage across the world.

On Thursday, reporters questioned Goldstein about the appropriateness of Hoekstra's ambassadorship in light of his performance at the news conference and additional statements beyond the 2015 conference where he appeared to spread anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

“He's been received well by the Dutch government, and we hope that he can be received well by the people of the Netherlands,” Goldstein said. “I have advised, as I've advised most people, that when reporters are in front of you, just as you are in front of me, that it's always good to answer questions.”

Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman from Michigan, talked about “no-go zones” on several occasions; he had referred to their presence in European cities multiple times in conservative media before he became the ambassador.

He speculated that some 10 to 15 percent of the Muslim community in the world — what would amount to as many as 270 million people — were radical Islamist militants and appeared to imply that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had “egregious” ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a recent conspiracy theory that The Washington Post and other publications have determined to be baseless. Those comments were first unearthed by CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski (http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/09/politics/kfile-pete-hoekstra-no-go-zones/index.html).

The theory of lawless Muslim “no-go zones” run by sharia courts and forbidden to police and outsiders in Europe has been fanned on right-wing media, and it found prominence on Fox News shows hosted by Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity in recent years, despite a lack of evidence.

The network has run multiple segments where hosts or guests mentioned the issue.

In January 2015, Fox News anchor Julie Banderas issued an apology and a correction (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/01/18/fox-news-corrects-apologizes-for-no-go-zone-remarks) after a guest talked at length on Pirro's show about the presence of such zones, admitting that “there is no formal designation of these zones” and saying that the segment had aired “regrettable errors” about Europe's Muslim population.

But Fox News continues to run segments where the so-called phenomenon is mentioned; a search on the TV News Archive (https://archive.org/details/tv?q=%22no-go+zones%22&fq=channel%3A%22FOXNEWSW%22&rows=50&start=50&time=20141231-20171128) turned up more than 140 examples since the beginning of 2015.

The pundit on Pirro's show who made the discredited remarks, Steve Emerson, runs a nonprofit called the Investigative Project on Terrorism, where Hoekstra served as a fellow, a fact celebrated on his official State Department biography (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/276644.htm).

The federal agency recently released its updated travel advisories, and the Netherlands was listed at the lowest level of security threat. Though it noted a risk of terrorism plots, it said the biggest threat related to the 90,000 refugees the country accepted in 2015 and 2016: “societal animosity and discrimination against certain ethnic/religious minority groups, particularly Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East.”

Goldstein said that Hoekstra has an interview scheduled with a Dutch media outlet on Friday, but he didn't name the organization.

“And he also plans over the weekend to be available within many of the communities in the capital, including Muslim communities,” he said. “The department has had conversations with the ambassador. The ambassador wants to get this behind him.”

• Eli Rosenberg is a reporter on The Washington Post's General Assignment team.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: 3 awkward moments from Hoekstra's Dutch news conference (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/cd8baecc-f704-11e7-9af7-a50bc3300042_video.html)

 • Reporters to Trump's ambassador: ‘This is the Netherlands — you have to answer questions’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt)

 • Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands just got caught lying about the Dutch (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/22/trumps-ambassador-to-the-netherlands-just-got-caught-lying-about-the-dutch)

 • Fox News corrects, apologizes for ‘no-go zone’ remarks (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/01/18/fox-news-corrects-apologizes-for-no-go-zone-remarks)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/11/trumps-new-ambassador-ignored-questions-from-dutch-reporters-now-u-s-reporters-want-answers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/11/trumps-new-ambassador-ignored-questions-from-dutch-reporters-now-u-s-reporters-want-answers)

Title: Re: Donald J. Trump's official LIAR to the Netherlands…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 22, 2018, 03:51:42 pm

from The New York Times....

Trying to Defend President Trump's Derision, Diplomatically

In embassies around the world, some of America's diplomats are being dressed
down by their host nations. Others are considering leaving their posts.

By GARDINER HARRIS | Friday, January 19, 2018

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20Ambassdors-1/merlin_132171257_626f1ff9-5701-4a20-bf92-90cce3ee7fd1-superJumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20Ambassdors-1/merlin_132171257_626f1ff9-5701-4a20-bf92-90cce3ee7fd1-superJumbo.jpg)
The United States Embassy in London, also known as the American mission to the Court of St. James's. — Pool photograph: Alastair Grant.

WASHINGTON — The United States' ambassador to Panama resigned (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-diplomacy-panama/u-s-ambassador-to-panama-resigns-says-cannot-serve-trump-idUSKBN1F1227). The top envoy to Pakistan was scolded by the government (http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/pakistan-summons-us-ambassador-david-hale-118010300072_1.html) in Islamabad. And American diplomats across Africa have been made to explain President Trump’s vulgar description of their nations.

These are disorienting — and some say depressing — times for the country's diplomatic corps, which was already wilting (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/us/politics/diplomats-quiet-revolt-donald-trump-tensions.html) after a year of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson's leadership style and a lackluster department reorganization. Then Mr. Trump derided “shithole” African countries (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/politics/trump-shithole-countries.html) during an immigration debate last week and questioned whether Haitians should be allowed to move to the United States.

The blowback was fierce.

On Wednesday, more than 80 former ambassadors to African nations over the last several decades sent a letter of protest to Mr. Trump. They said his description undermined American interests across the continent that has the world's fastest growing population and five of the 10 fastest growing economies.

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/19/us/politics/ambo-letter-tear/ambo-letter-tear-master768.png) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/19/us/politics/ambo-letter-tear/ambo-letter-tear-superJumbo.png)
A portion of a letter that a group of former American ambassadors to African nations sent to President Trump.

“We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens,” the letter pleaded.

The Haitian ambassador to the United States was sharper in his criticism. “We felt this was an attack on our dignity as a people and a country, and we're intending to push back on it,” Paul Altidor, the Haitian envoy, said in a Facebook Live interview with The New York Times (https://tinyurl.com/yb2dgtbl) on Wednesday.

Steve Goldstein, the State Department's under secretary for public affairs, acknowledged that the president's remarks had made diplomats’ jobs more difficult.

“I've advised people to keep their heads down and focus on the job at hand,” he said, adding: “It's not easy.”

Historically, few jobs are better than those given to United States ambassadors. Meals come on white tablecloths, maids do the laundry and a car and driver are always waiting to whisk them away to important meetings or glittering parties. They even get the glorious title of plenipotentiary, or all-powerful.

Nearly a third of the ambassadors in 168 American embassies worldwide (https://history.state.gov/about/faq/diplomatic-and-consular-posts) are political appointees — many of whom were big political donors before they were given plush assignments to wealthy countries where they are rarely expected to conduct high-stakes diplomacy.

No longer.

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassadors-5/merlin_130706978_39fd0cbc-a526-42a4-b8d2-9a46d7f0d07a-superJumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassadors-5/merlin_130706978_39fd0cbc-a526-42a4-b8d2-9a46d7f0d07a-superJumbo.jpg)
President Trump and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, in Bedminster, New Jersey, in August. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.

Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, landed in August as the ambassador to the Court of St. James's, the august name for diplomatic missions to the United Kingdom. It is one of the most prestigious posts in the American foreign service, and is as much of a social whirl as a policy conduit between Washington and London. But Mr. Johnson has repeatedly had to hustle over to Britain's foreign ministry to explain incendiary presidential tweets (http://www.newsweek.com/trump-twitter-chaos-ambassador-woody-johnson-would-probably-rather-watch-his-728104) that have put what both countries have long described as their “special relationship” on the thinnest ice in decades (https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2017/1207/In-Trump-era-US-UK-special-relationship-faces-and-causes-new-trials).

Peter Hoekstra's appointment as ambassador to the Netherlands must have seemed a similarly breezy posting for the former Michigan congressman. But days into his stint, he was grilled by Dutch reporters (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/world/europe/dutch-muslims-ambassador-trump.html) in a confrontation that went viral over his false claim in 2015 that politicians and cars had been burned by Muslims there, which he took days to retract.

Pakistan's foreign office summoned Ambassador David Hale early this year for a dressing down after Mr. Trump threatened in a tweet to cut aid over Islamabad's “lies & deceit.” And in Panama, Ambassador John Feeley quit last month, saying he no longer could serve under Mr. Trump.

Those who have decided to stay are in the awkward position of defending policies that, in some cases, hit close to home.

Ambassador Tulinabo S. Mushingi, who serves in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and later became a United States citizen. He speaks four languages, has a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and is a highly decorated career foreign service officer. He must now explain Mr. Trump's insistence that people with similar origins should not be allowed to visit the United States because they would “never go back to their huts” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/23/us/politics/trump-immigration.html) in Africa. Mr. Mushingi did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

“I think I can speak for many of my senior colleagues when I say that, while we’ve all faced challenges, what’s different now is that the president's rhetoric is so disrespectful that we're losing the respect and relationships that we have spent decades building,” said Dana Shell Smith, who resigned in June as ambassador to Qatar after tweeting her disagreements with the president.

Compounding the discontent is a sense of gloom hanging over the State Department that dozens of officials in recent weeks said has been a prime reason that at least 353 foreign service officers quit between last March and December (https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277773.pdf), with hundreds more considering (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/24/us/politics/state-department-tillerson.html) following them out the door.

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassadors-6/merlin_131798597_6fc8d7db-2cde-4c86-82ea-93cbd326130a-superJumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassadors-6/merlin_131798597_6fc8d7db-2cde-4c86-82ea-93cbd326130a-superJumbo.jpg)
David Hale, right, the American ambassador to Pakistan. He has been chastised by the Pakistani government over Mr. Trump's critical tweets.
 — Photograph: Aamir Qureshi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

It is not new, or even all that uncommon, for foreign service officers to disagree with a president. Many opposed President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Others disagreed with President Barack Obama's passivity in Syria in 2013. But it is not Mr. Trump alone that has inspired the rampant unhappiness across the department.

Career diplomats also complain that Mr. Tillerson has paralyzed decision-making, failed to recruit vital leadership, ignores entire continents and surrounds himself with a small cadre of aides instead of talking to department veterans.

“I never briefed the secretary and many of my counterparts never briefed him either,” said Patricia Haslach, who served as the acting assistant secretary of economic and business affairs until November 30th.

Donald Y. Yamamoto, the acting assistant secretary for Africa, said the first time he briefed the secretary was when a conclave of African diplomats came to Washington on November 17th (https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/11/275755.htm).

Hopes for Mr. Tillerson within the department were once high. The former chief executive of Exxon Mobil was seen as the most impressive of Mr. Trump's cabinet picks, and his plans for a top-to-bottom departmental reorganization was almost universally seen as needed.

“I defended him for months,” said Virginia Bennett, the former acting assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, who retired on November 30th after also never having briefed Mr. Tillerson. “But he has tied the department in knots.”

Morale plunged in December when Mr. Tillerson finally revealed (https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/12/276563.htm) the results of his yearlong reorganization effort, which spent about $7 million on consultants. It concluded with a pledge by Mr. Tillerson to fix the department's turgid email system and improve medical leaves and travel arrangements — bureaucratic problems that underwhelmed many.

“Everything he listed we'd already identified as a problem before he arrived, and were working on fixes that he froze to do his reorganization,” said Alex Karagiannis, who retired in November from a senior position in the bureau of human resources. “He made everything worse.”

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassodors-2/20dc-Ambassodors-2-superJumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/01/20/us/politics/20dc-Ambassodors-2/20dc-Ambassodors-2-superJumbo.jpg)
Peter Hoekstra, right, the American ambassador to the Netherlands, presented his credentials to King Willem-Alexander earlier this month.
 — Photograph: Patrick Van Katwijk/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Speculation that Mr. Tillerson would be forced (https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000005579151/rex-tillerson-may-be-dropped-by-trump.html) out over his strained relationship with Mr. Trump was so widespread that the secretary called a news conference (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/us/politics/tillerson-trump-secretary-state.html) in October to affirm his support for the president. More recently, Mr. Tillerson has insisted that he will remain in his job through the end of 2018.

Mr. Tillerson said this week that he is not warned ahead of time when the president tweets, and that it usually takes him at least an hour to gauge reaction and decide how to respond.

“It allows me to begin to think about: ‘How do we take that?’” he said.

Reuben E. Brigety II, an ambassador to the African Union during the Obama administration, said it is highly detrimental — and unusual — for the “secretary of state to be alienated both from the president and the professional diplomatic corps at the same time.”

“In fact, it's never happened before,” Mr. Brigety said. “This has to change.”

Read that Protest Letter Ambassadors to African Nations Sent to Trump (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/19/world/africa/document-Trump-African-Countries.html)


• Gardiner Harris covers international diplomacy for The New York Times. He previously served as a White House, South Asia, public health and pharmaceutical reporter for The Times. In South Asia, his stories on New Delhi's air pollution led to a profound change in local attitudes about its dangers, and his stories on sanitation led to a conclave at the United Nations General Assembly. In Washington, his public health stories led to the withdrawal of dozens of childhood cough-and-cold medicines and to federal legislation mandating the disclosure of payments by drug makers to doctors. Before joining The N.Y. Times in 2003, Mr. Harris was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering the pharmaceutical industry. His investigations there led to what was then the largest fine in the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before joining The Journal in 1999, Mr. Harris was the Appalachian reporter for The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, he won the Worth Bingham Prize for investigative journalism and the George Polk Award for environmental reporting after revealing that coal companies deliberately and illegally exposed miners to toxic levels of coal dust, causing hundreds of deaths annually. Mr. Harris's stories showed that Kentucky's governor at the time had been among the coal operators who cheated on dust tests. Mr. Harris was The Courier-Journal's police reporter from 1993 to 1995, when his investigations led to criminal charges being filed against the police chief of Jefferson County, where Louisville is. The chief was fired. Mr. Harris attended two high schools, Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, a public school, and Trinity School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which is private. In Princeton he played football, and at Trinity was captain of the swimming team; he sang in the choir and was active in theater at both schools. Mr. Harris graduated from Yale University and currently lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He has a wife and two children.


Related to this topic:

 • Letter to the Editor: Trump and the Foreign Service (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/opinion/trump-foreign-service.html)

 • Tillerson Takes Offense at Claims of Hollowing Out State Department (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/us/politics/tillerson-state-department.html)

 • State Department to Offer Buyouts in Effort to Cut Staff (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/us/politics/state-department-buyouts.html)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/world/trump-diplomats-tillerson-embassy.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/world/trump-diplomats-tillerson-embassy.html)