File - In this Aug. 10, 2006, file photo, the sign used as the backdrop for press briefings at the U.S. Department of State is seen before a news conference at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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Donald Trump is about to become president, and he still has no one ready to run American diplomacy until his nominee is confirmed. And with Russian-sponsored Syrian peace talks scheduled on Trump's first full business day in office, the State Department doesn't know who, if anyone, to send. Succession and continuity in leadership has been settled at the National Security Council, whose boss doesn't require confirmation, and appears on track for the Pentagon and CIA with Senate votes expected shortly after Trump's inauguration at noon Friday.The State Department's role as an internationally engaged agency makes it in some ways unique.Republicans and Democrats are still negotiating over Trump's picks, yet it looks unlikely more than four will make it through Friday: Retired Gen. James Mattis for Defense; Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA; retired Gen. John Kelly for Homeland Security; and Elaine Chao for Transportation.
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