Blinken says he wants mutinous gov’t employees to feel ‘comfortable’ walking off the job

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wants government workers to feel “comfortable” walking off their jobs to take part in a protest.

Blinken essentially gave the green light during an interview when he was asked about reports that hundreds of government employees in nearly two dozen agencies planned to be no-shows at work Tuesday.

In observance of the 100 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza, a “Day of Mourning” was scheduled by the group Feds United for Peace.

And while the sentiment of many on social media regarding the planned walkout and no-show event was that the employees should be fired, Blinken had a different take.

He appeared to be okay with people expressing themselves, even if American taxpayers have to foot the bill for their day “off.”

“The institution that I want to have is a place where people feel comfortable doing that,” Blinken told CNBC from Davos, Switzerland, referring to the questions and criticisms State Department employees have brought in response to the administration’s stand on the Israel situation.

“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,” Blinken added, not directly answering the question about whether walking off the job is “honorable.”

“That’s a cherished part of our democracy. It’s a cherished part of – in my view, of patriotism,” he told “Squawk Box” co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin.

“But people also need to be on the job, do the job. Look, we see this across many administrations,” Blinken continued. “If the policies 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.”

As it turned out, the planned protest was a moot point since all federal offices were closed Tuesday due to a snowstorm. The plan evident;y was to anonymously stay home and not necessarily walk off the job.

 

Unlike Blinken, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) was more than clear about the consequences for federal workers.

“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,” he said in a post on X.

“They deserve to be fired. Oversight Chairman Comer and I will be working together to ensure that each federal agency initiates appropriate disciplinary proceedings against any person who walks out on their job,” Johnson added.

Meanwhile, Blinken’s laid-back response earned plenty of criticism on social media.

Frieda Powers

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