Politics

‘Their Decision’ If They Can’t Keep Working

During an interview with CNBC aired on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Squawk on the Street,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to questions on whether or not State Department staff who stroll off to protest U.S. assist for Israel must be fired by stating that he desires individuals to precise themselves and that whereas individuals should do their jobs, “If there are policies that an administration is pursuing that individuals object to in a way that they can’t continue to work, well, that’s their decision, that’s their choice. They have to make that decision.”

CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin requested, “There is clearly a divide around the country and around the world about how the Israelis are going about this and about the U.S.’s support for it, including inside the White House itself, with members of government literally walking off the job. I want to read you something that Speaker Johnson tweeted out in the past 24 hours. He says, ‘Any government worker who walks off the job to protest U.S. support for our ally Israel is ignoring their responsibility and abusing the trust of taxpayers. They deserve to be fired.’ What do you think of that?”

Blinken answered, “Look, we’ve had, I can just speak for the State Department, we’ve had a number of people in the department, since October, raise questions, raise concerns, raise criticisms of policies, policies that Israel is pursuing, policies we’re pursuing. And the kind of place that I want to have, the institution I want to have, is a place where people feel comfortable doing that. We have something called the dissent channel that allows anyone in the department to raise a concern. We’ve had a number of those. I read every single one.”

Sorkin then requested, “But walking off the job, fireable?”

Blinken responded, “From my perspective, I want to make sure that people feel that they can say what they believe, express themselves –.”

Sorkin then lower in to ask, “But then do they ultimately have to get behind the position of the State Department?”

Blinken answered, “They ultimately have to be on the job and do their jobs. But the main thing is this: People feel the need to speak up and speak out. That’s a cherished part of our democracy. It’s a cherished part of my view of patriotism. But, people also need to be on the job and do the job. Look, we see this across many administrations. If there are policies that an administration is pursuing that individuals object to in a way that they can’t continue to work, well, that’s their decision, that’s their choice. They have to make that decision.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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