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Meet Obama Holdovers Still in Trump’s Government

Despite his promises to “drain the swamp” and sweeping out the Barack Obama-era bureaucrats from all levels of the federal government, President Donald Trump and his administration have found it difficult to complete the process even after two months in office.

According to the New York Times:

When President Trump’s new Middle East envoy began haggling over the details of an agreement with Israel to curb construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, they turned to a politically improbable adviser: Yael Lempert, a 43-year-old diplomat who worked on the issue in Barack Obama’s White House.

When Mr. Trump met with the leaders of Japan, Britain and Canada, he included Thomas A. Shannon Jr., another career diplomat, who rose to the No. 3 post in Mr. Obama’s State Department. And when Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson traveled to Turkey this past week to rally support for the military campaign against the Islamic State, he took along Brett H. McGurk, who coordinated that effort as Mr. Obama’s special envoy.

These diplomats are part of a rare cohort in the Trump administration: holdovers from the Obama years, whose skills, knowledge and bureaucratic finesse have enabled them to survive, even thrive, in an administration determined to purge all vestiges of its predecessor.

Anytime there is a change in administrations, career government officials face a tricky transition. But that process has been particularly difficult under Mr. Trump, because of the insurgent nature of his campaign and his deep suspicion of the permanent bureaucracy.

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