Fake News: “Top American Diplomat in China Resigns Over Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement Pull-Out”

Guest post by David Middleton

My first thought up reading this headline was that Ambassador Terry Brandstad had resigned… Which would be odd because he is a Republican, Trump nominee and was just confirmed by the Senate last month…

by ABIGAIL WILLIAMS and TIM STELLOH

JUN 6 2017

America’s top diplomat in China has resigned over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a landmark climate change agreement, two sources told NBC News Monday.

Charge d’affaires David Rank was set to be replaced by former Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad, who was confirmed as ambassador to China on May 22 but hadn’t yet arrived to the post.

Rank, citing the Paris climate agreement, announced the resignation during a town hall meeting on Monday with embassy employees.

[…]

NBC (Second only to CNN for fake TV news)

Resigning in protest shortly before you were going to be replaced… Strong move.  

According to the State Department, Mr. Rank retired…

A State Department spokesperson confirmed Rank’s departure to NBC News, but said he was “retiring,” adding: “Mr. Rank has made a personal decision. We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department.”

Paragraph 7

Featured image from the NRA.

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177 thoughts on “Fake News: “Top American Diplomat in China Resigns Over Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement Pull-Out”

  1. To paraphrase Rham Emmanuel, never lit a good retirement go to waste. The news media has gone beyond. Truth to them is any thing with a inkling of reality mixed with a lot of partisan spin.

  2. Chargé d’affaires: a person who takes the place of an ambassador when the ambassador is away. Merriam-Webster

      • It’s more like when grad student, working on its PhD, tries its hand at teaching classes to unsuspecting paid up Students, who thought that Professors actually taught classes at Universities.

        G

      • george e. smith,
        The absolute worst teacher I’ve ever had was a grad student whose focus seemed be to impressing us with what he knows rather than teaching us what he knows.

      • Gunga Din June 26, 2017 at 4:19 pm

        The absolute worst teacher I’ve ever had was a grad student …

        Dumping unprepared grad students into the classroom does nobody any favors. The University of Toronto actually has a training program for teaching assistants and grad students. link I wish that had been the case when I was a student shortly after the invention of the blackboard.

      • The worst teacher I ever had was a barely English-literate professor teaching the barely-comprehensible course in Federal Procedure.

      • When I was in grad school and taught a lab, all the undergraduate students wanted to be in my lab section because I was the only grad student who spoke understandable English.

    • Or, per Black’s Law Review: “CHARGE D’AFFAIRES: The title of a diplomatic representative of inferior rank. He has not the title or dignity of a minister, though he may be charged with the functions and offices of the latter, either as a temporary substitute for a minister or at a court to which his government does not accredit a minister.”

      Doesn’t sound like much of a loss. Except for his hard drives, of course.

    • Yes, David Rank has just been filling in for the last Ambassador, Max Baucus, since Jan 20, 2017. He’s just a temporary substitute and has never been confirmed by the Senate, so his resignation means nothing. Like many in government, he’s engaging in virtue signalling at a time when he has nothing to lose.

      • Speculation: he resigned because he realized he’d never make it to full ambassador. So he quit, heftily slamming the door?

      • The Charges d’Affair is the State Department’s babysitter for the ambassador. The career people at State don’t trust the political appointees to not embarrass us so there is a senior career diplomat in every embassy that the State Department careerists turn to when they want to know what is really happening in a country’s political situation. Some of them are very good, but most are expounders on one-world socialism and can’t be trusted to not spin the information as badly as MSNBC (which most look at as gospel!)

        This really was extreme bravery for a civil servant – quit in protest of policies you don’t agree with; take a strong stand – AFTER QUALIFYING FOR FEDERAL RETIREMENT!!!!

  3. MSM does not realize how discredited it has become. Continuing to pile on obvious fake news examples is not the smartest move. It seems they cannot help themselves. NYT, WaPo, CNN, NBC…

      • Good point. CNN retracted the Scaramuzzi story today. WaPo ate crow when Comey confirmed that he indeed had told Trump three times that he was not under investigation.

    • Hence the drive to “regulate” what is allowed on the internet. (And search engines companies … “directing”,
      “sorting”, “censoring”(?) … the hits.

      At the time “Freedom of the Press” was written, it was to protect small publishers (such as those who dared to publish the writings of Thomas Paine). The MSM media is no longer small.
      The internet bloggers are the present day “small publishers”. Some are rubbish. (I’ll refrain from naming a few obvious ones in the context of CAGW.)
      But all have the Right to say what they want to say.

      • Thomas Jefferson warned of fake news to fool the public to serve their own purposes.

        “”The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632 ”

        Freedom of the press was an ideal that supposed the public could read and comprehend what they were reading. But in reality there has always been false news used for political reasons. Jefferson himself admitted to using such to defeat a political opponent. But freedom of the press surely overrides any restrictions that could be placed by government on reporting even if false news remains a problem.

    • Seems that O’Keefe has caught the head producer at CNN, John Bonifield, admitting that the Trump Russia controversy is total BS.

  4. I finished eating dinner around 9 PM last night. I slept through the night, awaking at 6:30 PM.

    Fake News Angle: Robert Kernodle Stopped Eating At 9 PM Sunday Night

      • RK

        Good post, even with flub (I might have one in this post, but won’t know until after I “post”)…

      • Or Robert K:

        On the evening of the longest day in eastern Ontario, the temperature dropped to 7C. Pearse turned the heat back on. He doesn’t think he could have lasted the night without it.

        “Breaking”… Pearse doesn’t think!

    • Latitude June 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm
      …don’t sweat it…we all know what we mean…and we all screw it up!

      And some of us admit it and, golly!, even point it.
      (Mann, are you reading this?)

  5. Can’t wait to do it right….abandons his post….uses it to make some liberal statement

    Typical liberal…..and this is who’s been the ambassador to China all this time

      • Japan. Don’t know when/if Trump will replace, since now has close personal connection to Abe. Lots of more important unfilled positions he is behind on.

    • Only since January 20 this year. Max Baucus was the ambassador until then. This idiot, of course, hasn’t even been “interim” ambassador since May 24, when Branstad was sworn in. After accepting the nomination on December 8 – over six months to fill what is arguably one of the most important posts – do you see the fine hand of Senate Democrat obstructionism?

  6. “Resigning in protest shortly before you were going to be replaced… Strong move.”

    LMFAOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    Talk about virtue signaling! Good God that is hilarious!!!!

  7. Fake news? It’s simply correct. He is the current top ranking diplomat, and he is resigning to make a point about Paris
    “n his speech to embassy staff, Rank explained his resignation saying he was asked to do something in support of a policy this past weekend that as a “parent, patriot and a Christian” he simply could not do in good conscience.”

    It’s true that he is only acting as head of mission. But he is a career diplomat; he would have continued as such. He resigned, and said why. The State dept chose to spin it as just a retirement, but he made it vary clear that it wasn’t.

    • NS, you miss the point. Its fake because it isn’t news. There is more than one flavor of fake. Its just another virtue display like Sally Yates at State.

    • Fake News doesn’t have to be lies.
      Lies don’t have to contain untruths.

      “It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it…but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.”

      ― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

      The biggest source of fake news is to “Make mountains out of molehills” while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the mountain behind you.

    • Wait a second. This guy was a career diplomat, so I imagine his ‘career’ lasted for decades. During those decades, the US has been involved in many questionable things, including torture, the bombing of innocents, inciting wars that killed thousands, Elian Gonzalez, the slaughter at Waco, and so on. Does Mr. Rank really want me to believe that all the US has done for the last several decades was just fine with him, but withdrawing from the Paris agreement crossed some line?

      Mr. Rank: “As a parent, patriot and a Christian I want to say that killing children, trashing the Constitution and breaking all of God’s laws that a government can possible break has been fine with me for decades, but withdrawing from an expensive, yet completely ineffective agreement concerning climate 100 years from now is reprehensible and I must resign from my post!”

      Give me a break. That is fake!

    • Diplomatic staff are representatives of the government of the day. If a member of staff is unwilling to fulfill the duties of the post they should be removed. Diplomatic staff don’t have the privilege of personal opinions. They are functionnaires of the State Department.

      This ‘resignation’ is nothing more than a revelation that the staffer was not a fit to hold the post. I don’t mean ‘unqualified’ I mean ‘unfit’. Why was an person unfit for the post doing temporarily holding it?

    • Nick,

      It seems to me you (NBC, and Mr Rank) are engaging in a tad bit of ‘spinning’ yourself. He retired, that is far different from resigning, I don’t care how you spin it. If he resigned, he would not receive retirement benefits. He retired, i.e., he filled out the necessary paperwork to begin his retirement annuity, he did not submit a letter of resignation. I’m a retired Federal worker, I know how this sort of thing works. To claim he ‘resigned’ rather than what it actually was, a ‘retirement’, was framed solely for the impact. For a career diplomat to stand up at a meeting of fellow staffers and say ‘I’m retiring in protest of the pull out’ has far less impact than saying I’m ‘resigning in protest’ spin.

      Of course, you might say, “Well, he resigned his post in protest, not from the diplomatic service itself.” But that take doesn’t account for his actual retirement from the diplomatic service, not to mention he didn’t really have a post after the new Ambassador was confirmed.”

      As one poster below pointed out, of all the things he has knowledge of the government doing over the years, pulling out of the Paris Agreement seems an odd event to terminate your career over.

      • Yep.

        27 years of diplomatic service “down the drain.” He rose to the rank of Deputy Chief of Mission and was unlikely to be selected for an ambassador’s post.

        Fake news writ large…

        A State Department spokeswoman confirmed Rank’s departure, but said she was unable to verify Twitter posts that said he resigned as he felt unable to deliver a formal notification to China of the U.S. decision last week to quit the agreement.
        “He has retired from the foreign service,” said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the department’s East Asia Bureau.

        […]

        A tweet from China expert John Pomfret quoted unnamed sources as saying that Rank had resigned as he could not support Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
        Another tweet from Pomfret said Rank called a town hall meeting to announce his decision to embassy staff and explained that he could not deliver a diplomatic note informing the Chinese government of the U.S. decision.
        A senior U.S. official confirmed the account given in the tweets but added that after Rank announced his intention to retire on Monday in Beijing, he was told by the State Department to leave his post immediately. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

        http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/top-u-s-diplomat-in-china-quits-over-trump-climate-policy.html

        The story is based on a Tweet from someone who wasn’t there, who cited unnamed sources and supposedly was confirmed by an anonymous source.

        The only aspects of the story that can be confirmed are that Rank was the interim acting ambassador (Deputy Chief of Mission) between the Obama and Trump appointees, he was about to be replaced as the “Top American Diplomat in China” and that he retired.

        If he actually did call a “town hall meeting” of State Department employees for the purpose of undermining US policy, he should have been fired on the spot.

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/dave-rank-b8440b9/

        Q-fracking-ED

      • “explained that he could not deliver a diplomatic note informing the Chinese government of the U.S. decision.”

        So he refused to DELIVER A MESSAGE? That’s taking a stand? It changes nothing, other than show that you refuse to do your job. non-delivery of the message isn’t going to change anything. He’s not “saving the world” by China not being personally notified. Policies aren’t going to change because some schmoe in the State Department decided that China shouldn’t be told (as if they didn’t already know?? :)

    • Nick

      Would it be reported if he had quit the Obama addministration for a similar reason?

      It’s slightly accurate information but it’s not news. Let’s hope more carrier partisans decide to follow suit.

  8. One should be skeptical of all the mainstream media, and of the alternative media also. But it is possible to glean information from the liars just by what stories they think I should hear. This is similar to the Russians back in the days of the USSR who claimed that Pravda provided good information if you knew how to read between the lines.

    Over the years I have found some web sites to be generally reliable. For example http://www.zerohedge.com/ always seems to get the story correct. It is not a general news site, but what they do carry is reliable. I have come to rely on these finds that over the years that I have found very useful. I also note that the comments section of many sites are as valuable (or more so) than the stories themselves. This site is an example of that.

    Thanks to all the commenters who have made this a robust place to read. :-)

  9. “Climate Science” as practiced today by the main stream science community is both left wing politics and a great deal of fake news. Pointing this out is very cogent to the discussion on this site. The goal is more grant funding and the transfer of wealth. Anyone who cannot see these facts is blind to reality. As was said once of a great baseball pitcher, “even blind people went to his games just to hear him pitch”. Listen to this blog even if you’re blind and you will learn something. Put your ear real close to your computer screen and concentrate.

      • I saw him pitch at Shea Stadium back in the early 1970’s and watched just about every Mets game broadcast on WOR channel 9 from 1969-1980.

        Seaver, Ryan, Gibson, Drysdale, etc. were all cut from the same material… baseball was so much better back then.

      • I went to Kansas City on vacation once when I was young (my aunt and uncle lived there), and watched the 1961 Kansas City baseball team play the New York Yankees.

        Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were in a homerun race at the time, trying to beat Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homeruns in a season, and it was late in the season and Mantle and Maris were tied at about 58 homeruns each, and they batted one right after the other, Mantel, and then right after him came Maris.

        And I watched them that night and Mantle stepped to the plate and blasted a long homerun ball over the fence and the crowd went crazy, and then Maris came up to the plate next and he blasted an even longer homerun ball right out of the park, and the crowd went even crazier! That was fun to watch. Maris went on to win the homerun race with 61 homeruns and Mantel had 60 (if memory serves).

        During the game, my little brother got his hand on a Yogi Berra foul ball, but he couldn’t hang on to it, and lost it in the crowd. :)

        A long time ago.

  10. I was at Jarry Park, Montreal in the 1970’s to see my first Major League baseball game. Expos vs Dodgers.

    My goodness what howitzers for arms those guys had and that was only during pre-game warm up.

      • My favorite ballplayer of all time! Daniel “Rusty” Staub! Hit something like 0.455, 3 hr and 11 rbi in the ’73 series… should have been the MVP even though the A’s won 4 games to 3.

    • Steve Rogers… ’nuff said.

      I loved how the Jarry Park PA announcer pronounced the Expos’ catcher’s name… John Boc’-a-bella!

      Speaking of great Expos catchers… I got to shake hands with Gary Carter outside the Astrodome in ’86, when he was with the Mets.

  11. One of the biggest fake news when Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement is that US is the third country in the world with Syria and Nicaragua being the two other countries that is not part of the agreement. This fake news is repeated around the world and after so many repetitions, it has become an accepted and unchallenged truth. A check of the official UNFCC website will show that of the 197 member countries on 144 (today 149) have ratified the Paris Agreement and a large number of the 144 ( as the time of Trump withdrawal) are small island countries that have one vote in the UN general assembly and at COP and MOP of the UNFCCC just like India.

  12. So?
    Is that the real Dr. Indur Goklany – who I have no recollection seeing at WUWT before but whose views on the CAGW/CACC bandwagon I can relate to – piling in, shooting from the hip,or are the Mods faced with a clever troll?

    • David Middleton reckons it is the real McCoy (see David’s comment to me above) but his commenting style is straight out of trolling 101. Perhaps it is the real Dr Goklany and he just trolls in his spare time.

      Maybe David has direct contact with Dr Goklany and can confirm that he has some means of verification.

      • I think Dr. Golkany objects to posts he views as being purely political. And I don’t think he gets my sense of humor.

      • I’m reasonably confident that this is the real Dr. Golkany.

        Dr. Golkany has been a frequent contributor to WUWT. I think he simply doesn’t like posts of an overtly political nature in general and doesn’t like my “style” in particular.

    • David M

      If so, at whatever his age, IG needs to make an effort to grow up – and fast.

      With his accomplishments, including a good stint at the IPCC, he cannot – based on what is unfolding in terms of best available science and the socio-economic evidence, pretend that the climate “establishment” CAGW/CACC meme is nothing more than socio-political ideology “pure et simple”, and insist it belongs in the realm of science as we have understood this since the Enlightenment [modern day Popper included].

      Said with a PhD plus many years of learning in subject matters at the core to the issue set, the sooner IG accepts that the CAGW/CACC is about politics and not about [pseudo] science, the better for his credibility.

      • tetris, you evidently missed upthread that the “Indur Goklany” posting was not the actual person, but an imposter.

      • The Indur Golkany who posted in this thread was not the real Indur Golkany. Anthony discovered the fraud and deleted his fake comments.

  13. In keeping with his proclamation, David Rank should refuse to accept all related government retirement benefits.

    • I have no doubt he will be collecting his pension by the time he returns to CONUS.

  14. For Indur Goklany

    Note that if you click on the header of his posts it takes you to his site:

    http://goklany.org/

    Seems he is real and worth reading even if you disagree with him. He is a contemporary of many of us who read here. It doesn’t make him or any of us right – per the oft referred to Einstein quote. My guess is that this whole AGW and attendant issues will not be resolved in our lifetimes.

    But in case Dr. Goklany missed my comment upthread, there is a good reason to be skeptical of a lot of things. I would bet Dr. Goklany has run into this sort of thing himself:

    http://issues.org/33-4/the-science-police/

  15. Fake science came first. Pushing the 1930s record heat down below the 1998 temperatures by Hansen in 2007, was the big bold step inspired by the late Stephen Schneider ‘s statement about choosing to lie and cook the books (oh he used a lot more wheedley words than this). Then climategate and fake investigations, fake consensus, then fake Karlization of the Pause. The lying and manipulation of data and fantasy statistics, fake education…. I can almost excuse the press for fake news, making up or distorting facts. It does away with the need to do expensive investigative reporting. Even the polifact checkers couldn’t resist the temptation.

    • Have you heard that the CNN exec are so embarrassed by the three news staffers and the fake story they have to retract, that they have created a new rule.

      All stories, fake and real, about Russia now have to be approved by the execs themselves.

      I tried to watch CNN this afternoon as a break from the BilgeBC but it was so much constant whining it was unbearable. There was no news! It was just a long litany of Trump Russia Whine Trump Russia Whine. Oh, and ‘turn the cameras back on!’

      Message to CNN: Congress under Trump has already passed more Bills than Obama and Bush put together (if I got the count right). How about letting the public know a little something on the actual governance of the country?

      • “Message to CNN: Congress under Trump has already passed more Bills than Obama and Bush put together (if I got the count right). How about letting the public know a little something on the actual governance of the country?”

        You got the numbers right. I think Trump signed his 40th legislative bill yesterday, which is more than prior presidents have done, and no president has had the opposition Trump has had to put up with.

        The MSM isn’t interested in reporting on anything positive about Trump. Their agenda is to destroy Trump and conservatives and promote the socialist lifestye.

        This has been their objective since the Vietnam war. The only difference between then and now is there are many more Leftwing media outlets today than then, and there are a few conservative media outlets now, when there were none back then.

        The Leftstream Media is one of the most serious threats to individual freedoms that exist. People cannot govern themselves properly if they are fed a bunch of lies, and that’s what the MSM is giving them today. Lies that are crippling our society’s ability to function properly by leading us astray on politics and climate change and everything else. Everything they do has a negative impact.

  16. This man is a career diplomat and he seems to have resigned from the service over Trump’s decision….

    He was not being replaced by Brandstad.

    “A tweet from the China expert John Pomfret quoted unnamed sources as saying that Rank had resigned as he could not support Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

    In another tweet, Pomfret said Rank called a town hall meeting to announce his decision to embassy staff and explained that he could not deliver a diplomatic note informing the Chinese government of the US decision.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/05/us-diplomat-china-quits-trump-paris-climate-deal

    • Fake news writ large…

      A State Department spokeswoman confirmed Rank’s departure, but said she was unable to verify Twitter posts that said he resigned as he felt unable to deliver a formal notification to China of the U.S. decision last week to quit the agreement.
      “He has retired from the foreign service,” said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the department’s East Asia Bureau.

      […]

      A tweet from China expert John Pomfret quoted unnamed sources as saying that Rank had resigned as he could not support Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
      Another tweet from Pomfret said Rank called a town hall meeting to announce his decision to embassy staff and explained that he could not deliver a diplomatic note informing the Chinese government of the U.S. decision.
      A senior U.S. official confirmed the account given in the tweets but added that after Rank announced his intention to retire on Monday in Beijing, he was told by the State Department to leave his post immediately. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

      http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/top-u-s-diplomat-in-china-quits-over-trump-climate-policy.html

      The story is based on a Tweet from someone who wasn’t there, who cited unnamed sources and supposedly was confirmed by an anonymous source.

      The only aspects of the story that can be confirmed are that Rank was the interim acting ambassador (Deputy Chief of Mission) between the Obama and Trump appointees, he was about to be replaced as the “Top American Diplomat in China” and that he retired.

      If he actually did call a “town hall meeting” of State Department employees for the purpose of undermining US policy, he should have been fired on the spot.

      • To be honest that at least would make it based on a tweet from possibly a real person, rather than around the lunchroom in the studio. We have all seen news articles based on less. The news industry has now got to a point very few trust them and they seem to struggle to understand why.

  17. I like Trump’s email today. After the resignations from CNN, he calls the network FNN, as in Fake News Network.

  18. I like how the MSM are so outraged when they claim Trump says the Media is unAmerican. The only thing is Trump isn’t saying the Media is unAmerican, he is saying the LYING Media is unAmerican. If you are not lying, then you have no reason to be outraged at Trump’s statement. If you are, he is right, and you *are* unAmerican.

    No, Trump isn’t saying all Media is unAmerican, just the parts of the media that lie and mislead the American people. Of course, you can expect the MSM will misinterpret everything Trump says, and that is the case here.

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