In a private Facebook post obtained by Foreign Policy, the U.S. ambassador to Estonia, James Melville, announced his resignation. A career diplomat whose career began 33 years ago, Melville has served as ambassador to Estonia since 2015.
Although he was due to retire soon, Melville decided to end his career early, following President Donald Trump’s comments about Europe and NATO.
Explaining his early resignation, the ambassador wrote the following.
“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. Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me.”
Melville then went on to criticize the president, slamming his relationship with European allies and NATO.
“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.”
In a final jab at Trump, the U.S. ambassador to Estonia referenced the president’s famous slogan, “Make America Great Again,” writing the following.
“I leave willingly and with deep gratitude for being able to serve my nation with integrity for many years, and with great confidence that America, which is and has always been, great, will someday return to being right.”
Several State Department officials talked to Foreign Policy under the condition of anonymity, describing James Melville as a professional, typically unfazed by domestic politics.
“I just wonder who’s next,” state department officials told the magazine, after stressing how surprising Melville’s decision was, considering the now former U.S. ambassador to Estonia “had it all” in his diplomatic career.
As Foreign Policy notes, Melville is not the first U.S. diplomat to resign because of Trump. Many of them have done so, some quietly, and some not. For instance, the U.S. ambassador to Panama, John Feeley, resigned and then published a column in the Washington Post, titled “Why I could no longer serve this president.”
In the op-ed, Feeley cited Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis as the main reason for his resignation, adding that Trump’s travel ban, border wall, DREAMers policy, as well as the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership had, along with tariffs, accelerated his decision.
Similarly, Elizabeth Shackelford, “a rising star in the diplomatic corps in Africa,” as Foreign Policy put it, quit due to Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s “disdain” of American diplomacy.
Many have criticized the way the president has treated Europe, NATO, Canada, and ally countries. For instance, Centre for Policy Studies’ Capx called Donald Trump’s treatment of allies a “geopolitical disaster,” claiming that Trump is signaling that he is impressed by autocrats and exercise of arbitrary power, yet hostile toward democracies.
Tensions between the Trump administration, therefore the United States, and the European Union have been escalating for quite some time. As the Inquisitr recently reported, the European Commission authored a special report on Donald Trump’s 20 percent tariff on all U.S. imports of European Union-assembled cars, warning that the tariffs could jeopardize the U.S., apart from negatively impacting European economies.