Lobbyist turned wine blogger vetting UN, State personnel for loyalty to Trump: report

Source: The Hill | June 13, 2018 | John Bowden

A senior adviser at the State Department has been quietly vetting employees for months on their loyalty to President Trump, including reviewing social media posts to determine their political leanings.

Mari Stull, a senior adviser at the agency’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, has examined staffers’ social media for any signs of differences with administration policy, according to a report from Foreign Policy.

Stull is also reportedly “making lists” of employees whose loyalty she questions.

“She is actively making lists and gathering intel,” one senior diplomat told the website. “She is gunning for American citizens in the [United Nations] to see if they are toeing the line.”

At least three senior officials in the bureau, Molly Phee, Erin Barclay and Nerissa Cook, are expected to leave the agency or move to different positions as a result of Stull’s efforts, according to Foreign Policy.

Some of her efforts reportedly include researching whether employees had signed off on Obama administration policies opposed by the Trump administration, even if the staffer did not personally back the policy.

Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist, also pursued a career as an online wine blogger under the moniker “The Vino Vixen.” 

She was appointed by Assistant Secretary Kevin Moley in April.

According to the report, she tweeted about Moley’s appointment that month, writing that “the global swamp will be drained.” Her tweets have since been hidden from public view.

News of Stull’s efforts come months after Democratic lawmakers alleged in a letter that the White House and State Department were conspiring with conservative activists to purge agency employees seen as disloyal to Trump or supportive of the Obama administration.

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