A senior official at the State Department has resigned in protest at President Donald Trump‘s handling of the protests that sprung up after George Floyd was killed by a white policeman.
Mary Elizabeth Taylor, 30, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, submitted her resignation on Thursday.
Taylor, the youngest assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in history and the first black woman to serve in that post, said that the president’s actions ‘cut sharply against my core values and convictions.’
Taylor, a registered Republican who formerly worked for Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said she felt she had no choice but to resign.
‘Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character,’ she wrote in her resignation letter, obtained by The Washington Post.
‘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.’
Her departure is the first high-profile resignation made in protest of the president’s actions that has been made public.
One member of the Defense Science Board, James Miller, resigned shortly after Trump’s controversial photo op in Lafayette Square – but he was a former Obama administration official who had served on the committee that advises the Pentagon on science issues since 2014.
Taylor began working at the State Department in October 2018.
She served as the White House’s deputy director for nominations before joining the State Department.
In her White House role, she helped secure more than 400 presidential appointments through the Senate, including those of Gorsuch, now a Supreme Court Justice; CIA director Gina Haspel; Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and her former boss, Mike Pompeo.
Taylor comes from a family with a history of public service.
Her mother, Kristin Clark Taylor, served as the White House’s director of media relations under President George H.W. Bush and was the first black woman to hold that job.
The White House and State Department are yet to comment on her departure, but McConnell thanked her for her service.
‘Leader McConnell appreciates Mary Elizabeth’s service to the Republican Conference and our nation,’ said David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell.
Trump’s handling of the protests that surged across the U.S. in the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 25 killing have been strongly criticized by his opponents.
He urged the sending in of troops to quell protests, and tweeted: ‘When the shooting starts, the looting starts’ – a highly controversial phrase from the 1960s.
On June 1 peaceful protesters were driven from Lafayette Square, in front of the White House, with riot police, flash bangs and tear gas to clear the way for Trump to pose with a Bible at a nearby church.
He has also been roundly condemned for organizing a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – site of the worst massacre in U.S. history of African Americans – on Juneteenth, the June 19 day commemorated as the true end of slavery.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Harriet Alexander