Report: State Dept official quits over Trump race response

Politics

People visit Lafayette Park where protest signs are seen along the fencing that surrounds a statue of President Andrew Jackson, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, near the White House in Washington, where protests have occurred over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A State Department official resigned Thursday over President Donald Trump’s response to racial tensions sweeping the country over the killings of black people by police, The Washington Post reported.

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, said in her resignation letter that Trump’s actions “cut sharply against my core values and convictions.” At 30, Taylor was the youngest person to hold her position, and she was also the first black woman in the job, according to the Post.

“The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions,” Taylor said in her resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was obtained by the Post. “I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.”

Taylor’s resignation follows weeks of turmoil sweeping the United States following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Protesters demanding justice for Floyd and other slain black people, along with reforms to address police brutality, have taken to the streets, and the president has struggled to meet the moment. He has referred to protesters as “thugs,” and his administration forcefully pushed aside peaceful protesters near the White House so he could go to a nearby church and pose holding a Bible.

The State Department declined to comment in response to a question from The Associated Press.

“We do not comment on personnel matters,” the State Department said in an emailed response to a request for information about Taylor’s resignation. There was no immediate explanation for why the State Department officials, including Pompeo and other top aides, had chosen to comment extensively on the decision to fire the department’s Inspector General Steve Linick in May.

In her role in the Trump administration, Taylor helped guide more than 400 presidential appointments through the Senate, including those of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and CIA director Gina Haspel, the Post reported.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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