Skip to content

Top Democrats Demand Answers on Trump Loyalty Tests for Public Servants

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform demanded State Department documents related to reports that the Trump administration is vetting senior American employees at the State Department and international organizations to determine if they are sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump.

On June 13, Foreign Policy reported that Mari Stull, a Senior Adviser to the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs, had been quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine whether they are loyal to President Donald Trump and his political agenda. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Ranking Members demanded that the Department provide documents related to Stull’s efforts to categorize, research, and vet employees by their perceived political views. 

The Ranking Members wrote: “These allegations track closely with the many reports our Committees have received over the past 18 months alleging political attacks on State Department career employees.  We had hoped with your personal assurances, including during your testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee on May 23, 2018, that these attacks on career employees would come to an end… Yet, despite these assurances, it appears the Trump Administration continues to deploy ideological loyalty tests on State Department employees.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.


On March 15, Reps. Engel and Cummings released documents obtained by whistleblowers that showed senior Trump administration officials discussing the need to “clean house” at the Department, with political appointees targeting career civil servant employees they believed did not adequately support President Trump’s agenda. The State Department failed to reply to that letter and its requests for documents by a March 29 deadline.