Conservatives are up in arms over Trump’s intent to appoint a democrat, and former Clinton supporter to be ambassador to Columbia. However, it is unclear how much Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is behind the move.
Many of the top foreign policy Republicans on the Hill are furious that Trump is even thinking of appointed Joseph MacManus to become the ambassador to Columbia. The 30-year veteran of the civil service was one of Clinton’s top aides while she was Secretary of State, and is a far cry from the presumptive candidate, Brian Nichols – who currently serves as ambassador to Peru.
A GOP foreign policy activist said, “This is the final straw for many of those who are fed up with [Secretary of State] Tillerson and the careers at State running roughshod over some in the White House … It’s a microcosm of the larger feud that has been going on for some time.”
Critics of MacManus warn that his confirmation hearing will not go smoothly, if the White House decides to go through with this confirmation. Because of his ties to Clinton, conservatives in Congress vowed to dig through to find any role MacManus played during the Benghazi attack or in Hillary’s email server.
Foreign policy professionals consider Columbia to be one of Washington’s most valued allies in South America, as both countries work to enhance security and trade across the American continent. This means that the ambassador to Columbia will be expected to navigate a very important regional relationship with a valued American ally, in the important task of fighting drug trafficking, terrorism, and promoting regional stability in South America.
A leaked memo, entitled, “Talking Point Embassy of U.S. in Colombia as Political Post for Ambassadorship,” made it clear that Columbia is, “no ordinary post, but one with a major U.S. national security interest … In the past, State Department-led bureaucrats cut off military aid to the police in Colombia as the GOP Congress fought to save Colombia from the FARC terrorist threat, while simultaneously tackling the drug threat … Without this type of political support, military aid, and supportive push from a GOP Congress in the 1990s, it might have become a failed nation and even greater ‘narco-state’ threat to U.S … We can’t take that chance again.”