Senior State Dept. official resigns in response to Trump's handling of protests

A top State Department official who has served since the beginning of President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE's presidency has quit over Trump's handling of the nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and police brutality, The Washington Post reported.

Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Elizabeth Taylor turned in her resignation Thursday, according to the Post.

“Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character," Taylor wrote to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Pence to deliver keynote at fundraising banquet for South Carolina-based pregnancy center Russia suggests military deployments to Cuba, Venezuela an option MORE in a letter obtained by the Post. "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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The 30-year-old was unanimously confirmed to her position in October 2018, becoming the youngest assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs ever as well as being the first Black woman to hold the position.

Before joining the State Department, Taylor was the White House’s deputy director for nominations, where she ushered more than 400 presidential appointments through the Senate, including Supreme Court Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchSupreme Court to revisit part of Native American land decision in Oklahoma The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Sotomayor, Gorsuch issue statement denying tensions over masks MORE and Pompeo.

She had been viewed as an integral and loyal member of Trump administration, according to the Post.

In her resignation letter Taylor expressed her gratitude to Pompeo.

“You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership have made me a better leader and team member," she reportedly wrote. "I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events.”

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Before joining the administration, was an aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine amid Russia tensions Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law There is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections MORE (R-Ky.), serving on his cloakroom staff. 

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

Trump has adopted an aggressive, hardline stance against the protests that began sweeping the nation more than three weeks ago. In a call with the country's governors, Trump told the state leaders that they needed to "dominate" the protestors and encouraged them to mobilize their respective national guards.

Trump also mobilized federal troops to Washington, D.C., a move that draw criticism from both sides of the aisle. Additionally, he tweeted the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts," a slogan that is rooted in racist tactics used during the civil rights era.

On Thursday, he claimed that he made Juneteenth — the anniversary of the unofficial end of the slavery in the U.S. — "famous."

“I did something good. I made it famous. I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, it’s an important time,” the president told the Wall Street Journal. “But nobody had heard of it. Very few people have heard of it. Actually, a young African American Secret Service agent knew what it was. I had political people who had no idea.” 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.