DHS official resigns over past racial remarks

DHS official resigns over past racial remarks

The Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), resigned Thursday night after a CNN report revealed racially disparaging remarks he made during past talk radio appearances.

In a statement from acting DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton, the agency confirmed that acting Secretary Elaine Duke had accepted Johnson's resignation and condemned his past remarks.

"His comments made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration. The Department thanks him for his recent work assisting disaster victims and the interfaith community," Houlton said.

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A CNN KFile report earlier Thursday revealed that Johnson had made comments disparaging African-Americans and Muslims during several talk radio appearances prior to his April appointment. The radio show appearances ranged from 2008 to 2016.

On one show, Johnson blamed black Americans for turning "major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity."

On another, he told listeners that "[Islam] is not a religion of peace," adding: "I agree with [conservative political commentator] Dinesh D'Souza, your friend and mine, who says all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half."

Johnson apologized for the comments in a statement earlier Thursday to CNN, saying that the remarks do not reflect his current views after meeting people from different faiths.

"I have and will continue to work with leaders and members of all faiths as we jointly look to strengthen our safety and security as an interfaith community. Having witnessed leaders from the entire faith spectrum work to empower their communities, I now see things much differently," Johnson said. 

"I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally," he said.