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Wine Critic Turned White House Adviser Is Checking Employee Loyalty for Trump

Former ‘Vino Vixen’ author Mari Stull is reviewing government aides’ social media pages for clues

Vino Vixen author Mari Stull appearing in a wine tasting video.
Wine Taste TV [Official photo]

Mari Stull, the self-proclaimed Vino Vixen Eater readers might have turned to for advice during her days as wine editor of the Alexandria Times, has a new job. According to Foreign Policy, she’s now working for the State Department to analyze the social media of its staff, determining their loyalty — or lack thereof — to President Donald Trump.

The shift isn’t totally surprising, considering Stull used to lobby for the grocery industry and was recently named a senior fellow at the conservative American Opportunity Foundation. But it’s still interesting to note that she’s traded in the world of “demystifying the wine industry” for “making lists” and checking to see if Obama-era carryovers have fallen in line with the new administration.

Foreign Policy [FP] reports that Stull, a recent political appointee to the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, is reviewing the social media presence of State Department staff. She has also inquired about Americans working at global agencies — including the World Health Organization and the United Nations — in an effort to expose those who might presumably undermine the highly divisive president.

Observers tell FP that Stull is “making lists” and checking to see if Obama-era carryovers have fallen in line or remain out of step with the Trump administration. According to FP, Stull’s months-long probe has already alienated three long-standing government aides who are said to be eyeing the exits rather than remain under Stull’s watch.

While FP speculated whether Stull’s actions are endorsed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a State Department spokesperson tells Eater that the director is on top of his personnel.

“Secretary Pompeo has shown his full support for career staff at the State Department and at the Central Intelligence Agency. Political retribution of any kind will not be tolerated and we take these allegations very seriously,” the State Department aide says.

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