U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has issued a blanket mandate requiring politically appointed ambassadors installed by President Barack Obama to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand said on Friday.
“I will be departing on January 20th,” Ambassador Mark Gilbert said in a Twitter message to Reuters.
The mandate was issued “without exceptions” through an order sent in a State Department cable on Dec. 23, Gilbert said.
He was confirming a report in the New York Times, which quoted diplomatic sources as saying previous U.S. administrations, from both major political parties, have traditionally granted extensions to allow a few ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
Officials from the State Department and Trump’s transition team were was not immediately available for comment.
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