Senior State Department official resigns over Trump’s handling of unrest amid George Floyd

Senior State Department official resigns over Trump’s handling of unrest amid George Floyd

Mary Elizabeth Taylor was Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, the official that heads the body that coordinates legislative business for the department. Protests have taken place in the US following the death of George Floyd in police custody. In a letter obtained by the Washington Post, Ms Taylor said: “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.”

A State Department spokesperson told CNN: “We do not comment on personnel matters.”

Trump declared himself “your president of law and order” and suggested he would use military to restore order.

Whilst most protests have been peaceful, some have taken a violent turn.

Trump said at the White House Rose Garden: “If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Ms Taylor sent a message to her employees this month in relation to the events, according to the Post, she said: “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.”

Ms Taylor praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for “remarkable leadership”.

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The 1807 act allows for the President to deploy US military and federalised National Guard troops within the US to suppress civil order, insurrection and rebellion.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump as President had the “sole authority” to use the measure.

She said: “If he chooses to use it he will do it.”

On Thursday, Mr Esper announced an internal review that would look to improve diversity within the US Armed Forces.

In a video message, he explained: “My goal is to affect an enterprise-wide, organizational and cultural shift.

“We are not immune to the forces of bias and prejudice — whether visible or invisible, conscious or unconscious.

“We know this bias burdens many of our Service members, and has direct and indirect impact on the experiences of our minority members, the cultural and ethnic diversity of the force, and representation in our officer ranks.

“These things have no place in our military; they have no place in our country.”

Mr Esper holds the Department of Defence Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Published at Fri, 19 Jun 2020 03:45:00 +0000