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Trump denies U.S. Ambassador to Samoa one week extension

WORK IN SAMOA: Ambassador Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy Gilbert with Samoan students during one of his recent visits. [Samoa Observer]
The United States Ambassador to Samoa’s term is coming to an end.

That’s because President-elect Donald Trump's transition staff have issued a blanket edict on December 23 requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their postings by inauguration day, January 20.

The US ambassador, Mark Gilbert, was always at the end of his tenure after the shock result of the 2016 presidential election.

But, the State Department communique was a change, as in the past some ambassadors have been granted a stay, or an extension, to accommodate school-age children or family affairs on a case-by-case basis, the New York Times reports.

The US State Department denied extension requests for all its politically appointed staff.

Gilbert said he had applied for a one-week extension to pack, but this request was denied.

A former professional baseball player, he was appointed by Barack Obama and is a personal friend of the outgoing president.

Politically-appointed ambassadors must leave their post at the end of a presidential term. A senior Trump transition official told the New York Times there was no ill-will in the move, but it has uprooted the family arrangements of some appointees, in Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, and Belgium.

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at Samoa Observer