Top State Department Official Resigns Over Trump’s Response To Racial Tensions
According to The Washington Post, a top State Department official who has served in the Trump administration from day one is resigning in protest of President Donald Trump’s response to racial tensions across the United States.
Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, tendered her resignation on Thursday, saying the president’s actions “cut sharply against my core values and convictions.”
The Post reported that Taylor is “one of the administration’s highest ranking African Americans and an aide who was viewed as both loyal and effective in serving [Trump’s] presidency.”
Taylor wrote in her resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
“Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character. The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions. I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.”
Taylor’s resignation and criticism of the president represent “the first high-profile resignation made in protest of the president’s actions that has been made public,” according to the report, and particularly notable because she is a lifelong member of the Republican Party.
The Post described Taylor as a “pivotal behind-the-scenes figure in the administration.”
Taylor “was unanimously confirmed to her position in October 2018,” and, at the age of 30, “is the youngest assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in history and the first black woman to serve in that post.”
She also “served as the White House’s deputy director for nominations before joining the State Department.”
During her time in the White House, Taylor helped guide “more than 400 presidential appointments through the Senate, including those of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, CIA director Gina Haspel, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell and Pompeo.”
After the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, at which time Trump drew widespread criticism for his “very fine people on both sides” remark, Taylor met in the Oval Office with the president and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the Senate’s lone black Republican.
In a “message to her team of roughly 60 State Department employees” on June 3, Taylor said “that in the aftermath of Floyd’s death that her heart ‘is broken, in a way from which I’ve had to heal it countless times.’”
“George Floyd’s horrific murder and the recent deaths of other Black Americans have shaken our nation at its core. Every time we witness these heinous, murderous events, we are reminded that our country’s wounds run deep and remain untreated,” Taylor wrote in her note, also obtained by The Post. “For our team members who are hurting right now, please know you are not alone. You are seen, recognized, heard, and supported. I am right here with you.”