WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a profession diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, saying he not felt capable of serve President Donald Trump.
Feeley’s departure had been communicated to State Division officers on Dec. 27 and was not a response to Trump’s alleged use of the phrase “shithole” to explain Haiti and African nations at a gathering on Thursday, U.S. officers stated.
Trump denies utilizing the time period.
Feeley, one of many division’s Latin America specialists and amongst its senior most officers, made clear that he had come to a spot the place he not felt capable of serve beneath Trump.
“As a junior overseas service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical style, even after I may not agree with sure insurance policies,” Feeley stated, in line with an excerpt of a resignation letter learn to Reuters on Friday.
“My instructors made clear that if I believed I couldn’t try this, I might be honor sure to resign. That point has come.”
A State Division spokeswoman confirmed Feeley’s departure, saying that he “has knowledgeable the White Home, the Division of State, and the Authorities of Panama of his resolution to retire for private causes, as of March 9 of this 12 months.”
Chatting with reporters, Underneath Secretary of State Steve Goldstein stated he was conscious of Feeley’s deliberate departure on Thursday morning, earlier than Trump’s alleged use of the vulgar time period, and stated the ambassador was leaving for “private causes.”
”Everybody has a line that they won’t cross,“ ”Goldstein informed reporters on the State Division. “If the ambassador feels that he can not serve … then he has made the fitting resolution for himself and we respect that.”
U.S. officers declined to debate Feeley’s causes for leaving the division after an extended profession, a lot of which was spent engaged on Latin American points.
A few of Trump’s insurance policies have been broadly regarded throughout the area as hostile to Latin America.
The Trump administration has taken a more durable stance on immigration from Latin America, most notably with strikes to expel tons of of hundreds of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who benefited from momentary safety standing after pure disasters.
Feeley’s profession included serving because the No. 2 official within the State Division bureau that offers with Latin America, as deputy chief of mission on the U.S. embassy in Mexico Metropolis and as director for Central American affairs in Washington.
Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; modifying by Tom Brown