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Ex-diplomat: I resigned over Trump's rhetoric

John Feeley, the former US ambassador to Panama, tells CNN's Alisyn Camerota why he resigned from his position, saying he couldn't be President Trump's ambassador after Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 6:10 AM
Updated: Mar 14, 2018 6:13 AM

The former US ambassador to Panama said Monday he was compelled to resign from his post after President Donald Trump failed to strongly condemn white supremacists who committed deadly acts of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer.

"I wanted to hang on, but I got to a point ... when the President failed to condemn the neo-Nazi and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, where I just couldn't continue to say 'I think the President's words speak for themselves,'" John Feeley told CNN's "New Day."

He added, "That's not being his personal representative. That's not being his ambassador and I felt that I was honor-bound to resign."

Feeley said the President's response to Charlottesville "was something that shook me deeply."

Feeley, whose final day was last Friday, told "New Day" he decided not to leave right after the summer protests because he "had a responsibility to do an orderly transition."

Last week, the then-outgoing ambassador issued a scathing critique of Trump and his foreign policies in a Washington Post op-ed, writing that a betrayal of "the traditional core values of the United States" led to his resignation.

Feeley blasted a number of Trump's policy initiatives, including his proposed travel ban and southern border wall, his elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, his withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate deal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as "making the United States weaker and less prosperous."

Feeley's resignation comes amid instability within the US diplomatic corps. Following more than a year since Trump's inauguration, CNN reported in January that there were still dozens of key State Department vacancies that were yet to have a nominee.

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