The outgoing US ambassador to Panama issued a scathing critique of President Donald Trump and his foreign policies in an op-ed, saying that a betrayal of “the traditional core values of the United States” led to his resignation.
“I resigned because the traditional core values of the United States, as manifested in the President’s National Security Strategy and his foreign policies, have been warped and betrayed,” John Feeley, whose resignation takes effect Friday, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
Feeley said that impetus for his resignation came from Trump’s failure to strongly condemn white supremacists for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer that left one dead.
“(It) made me realize that my values were not his values,” he wrote.
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.”
“America is undoubtedly less welcome in the world today, as the President pursues a unilateral and isolationist path,” he added.
The outgoing diplomat argues that Trump voters “deserve better” than the campaign rhetoric they were promised.
“They deserve enlightened and informed debate about the true nature of the globalized economy, automation, and the need for education and reimagined job-skills programs to keep us competitive,” he said.
Feeley was a career diplomat who was sworn in as ambassador in January 2016. He submitted his resignation letter to the White House in late December 2017, according to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein.
In the op-ed, Feeley said that he did not intend his resignation as the “public political statement” that he believes it became.
Feeley said he plans to use his retirement to “speak to Americans and explore our nation’s fears and perceptions about the migration challenges we face.”
A State Department spokesperson said Deputy Chief of Mission Roxanne Cabral will step in until a new ambassador is confirmed. Panama will join the dozens of countries that do not currently have Senate-confirmed US ambassadors in place.
CNN’s Elise Labott, Zachary Cohen and Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.