Politico reported in March 2018 that high-level Trump administration officials expressed concern about employees who worked in the Obama administration and the “loyalty” of some other employees. The story also reported that the State Department even spread false information and called an employee an “Obama cheerleader.” Reports also surfaced that senior Trump officials discussed ways to purge former Obama career employees from their positions. American Oversight submitted a FOIA to multiple agencies to determine if and where these conversations are happening.
Then in June 2018, Foreign Policy reported that that a State Department official, former-lobbyist Mari Stull, was searching social media profiles and investigating current employees to see if they were “disloyal” to the Trump administration. Stull’s investigations reportedly included assessing whether or not career State employees had supported Obama-era policies. The secrecy surrounding this monitoring has raised alarm among employees and some have left the department as a result.