Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a senior state department official and his resignation in protest of Trump’s response to racial injustice.
A senior State Department official who has served in the Trump administration since its first day is resigning over President Trump’s recent handling of racial tensions across the country.
Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, submitted her resignation on Thursday. Taylor’s five paragraph resignation letter, serves as an indictment of Trump’s stewardship at a time of national unrest from one of the administration’s highest ranking African Americans and an aide who was viewed as both loyal and effective in serving his presidency.
Taylor, 30, was unanimously confirmed to her position in October 2018 and is the youngest assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in history and the first black woman to serve in that post.
She has been a pivotal behind the scenes figure in the administration. Tapped for her legislative expertise and strong relationship with senators due to her work for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Taylor served as the White House’s deputy director for nominations before joining the State Department.
In her White House role, she helped shepherd 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.
Taylor’s decision to leave the administration amid the racial tensions flaring nationwide appears to be 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 N. Miller, submitted his resignation to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper 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.
Before joining the administration, Taylor was an aide to McConnell where she worked as a member of his cloakroom staff helping oversee legislative debates on the floor. She 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.
Taylor sat in on an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the Senate’s lone black Republican, in the aftermath of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Trump drew widespread rebukes for his comment that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the rally.
During that meeting, Scott, who leads one of the most diverse staffs in the Senate, implored the president who had very little racial diversity on his staff to appoint more people like Taylor to the White House, according to an Axios report at the time.
“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,” Taylor wrote in her resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.”
“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 resignation letter.