State department official resigns over Trump’s response to racial tensions

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, was the youngest person in history and only Black woman to serve in the post, which she was appointed to in 2018.  

credit: U.S. State Department

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the first Black woman to serve as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, is parting ways with President Donald Trump after being with the administration since day one. 

Taylor, 30, submitted a five-paragraph resignation letter on Thursday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying the president’s handling of racial injustice and the anti-racism protests “cut sharply against my core values and convictions,” according to The Washington Post.

The publication obtained her resignation letter, which stated, “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. I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs.”

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Taylor, a lifelong Republican and Trump-loyalist, was the youngest person in history and only Black woman to serve in the post, which she was appointed to in 2018.  

She previously worked as the White House’s deputy director for nominations before joining the State Department. Prior to Trump administration, she served as aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“I am deeply grateful to you, Mr. Secretary, for empowering me to lead this team and strategically advise you over these last two years,” Taylor wrote in the resignation letter to Pompeo. “You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership has made me a better leader and team member. I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events.”

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Taylor’s resignation comes amid increasing civil unrest and racial tension over police brutality and injustice. 

“Leader McConnell appreciates Mary Elizabeth’s service to the Republican Conference and our nation,” said David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell.

Taylor’s mother, Kristin Clark Taylor, also made history when she became the first Black woman to serve as the White House’s director of media relations under President George H.W. Bush.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to catch heat over his response to the protests that have erupted since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Taylor’s decision to leave over the president’s actions comes after a member of the Defense Science Board, James N. Miller, submitted his resignation after Trump’s controversial Bible photo op.

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