Trump comments spark U.S. ambassador to Estonia’s resignation

The U.S. ambassador to Estonia James D. Melville (R) has resigned. House Speaker Paul Ryan (L) chatted with him last year before meeting with the Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas to discuss Estonia-U.S. defense cooperation as well as global foreign policy challenges. EPA/VALDA KALNINA

July 1 (UPI) — The U.S. ambassador to Estonia said President Donald Trump‘s comments about U.S. allies in Europe prompted him to resign.

In a private Facebook post first reported by Foreign Policy, the longtime diplomat, James Melville, announced his resignation.

“A Foreign Service Officer’s DNA is programmed to support policy and we’re schooled right from the start, that if there ever comes a point where one can no longer do so, particularly if one is in a position of leadership, the honorable course is to resign,” the Melville post read. “Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me.”

It continued: “For the President to say the EU was ‘set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank,’ or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go,” citing Trump’s comments in recent weeks.

A State Department spokesperson also confirmed to ABC News that Melville “announced his intent to retire,” Friday.

Melville has served in his post for three years and will continue to serve until July 29. He planned to retire soon regardless of Trump’s comments and policies.

His resignation follows other senior U.S. diplomats who have also resigned due to Trump’s policies.

Other resignations have included U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, who resigned in December, and later told the Washington Post that Trump’s foreign policy was to blame for his decision. Elizabeth Shackelford, serving as a diplomat in Africa, also resigned in December. She blamed Trump’s “dismissive attitude towards human rights” in a resignation letter obtained by Foreign Policy.


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