The U.S ambassador resigned over Trump’s ‘racist,’ comments, releases immediate statement against Trump
The U.S. ambassador to Panama resigned “on principle,” noting that he cannot serve under the current administration any longer. John D. Feeley has served as ambassador to Panama since Dec. 9, 2015, after being nominated by President Obama. “As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” Feeley said in a statement.
“My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor-bound to resign. That time has come.” The State Department reportedly confirmed Feeley’s departure but said he decided to “retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 this year.” According to the Associated Press, Feeley’s resignation came before Trump referred to several poor countries as “shitholes,” as the announcement was on the State Department’s website prior to the Thursday remarks.
A State Department spokeswoman confirmed Feeley’s departure, saying that he “has informed the White House, the Department of State, and the Government of Panama of his decision to retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 of this year.”
Speaking to reporters, Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein said he was aware of Feeley’s planned departure on Thursday morning, before Trump’s alleged use of the vulgar term, and said the ambassador was leaving for “personal reasons.”
”Everyone has a line that they will not cross,“ ”Goldstein told reporters at the State Department. “If the ambassador feels that he can no longer serve … then he has made the right decision for himself and we respect that.”
U.S. officials declined to discuss Feeley’s reasons for leaving the department after a long career, much of which was spent working on Latin American issues.
Some of Trump’s policies have been widely regarded within the region as hostile to Latin America.
The Trump administration has taken a tougher stance on immigration from Latin America, most notably with moves to expel hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who benefited from temporary protection status after natural disasters.