Political News

Alleged blacklister 'Vino Vixen' out at State

Posted January 15, 2019 3:31 p.m. EST

— Mari Stull, the wine blogger lobbyist turned Trump administration appointee who is under investigation for allegedly vetting and blacklisting State Department employees for "disloyalty," has left her post, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

"Ms. Stull concluded her tenure at the State Department on January 11, and we understand has accepted a new position outside government. We appreciate her service to the Department and contributions to U.S. international engagement.," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

The circumstances around her departure were not immediately clear. Politico first reported the news.

Stull, nicknamed the "Vino Vixen" for the name of a blog she maintained before joining State, served as a senior adviser in the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs. According to a June 2018 report from Foreign Policy, Stull allegedly led a quiet campaign vetting career diplomats for "disloyalty" to the Trump administration.

The State Department Inspector General is investigating allegations of retaliation against career officials, including by Stull, according to State and legislative sources.

Due to the partial government shutdown, the Office of the Inspector General did not reply to a CNN inquiry about the status of this investigation. A separate investigation into this alleged impropriety was reportedly opened by the Office of the Special Counsel, according to Foreign Policy. That office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.