Updated |US ambassador to Panama John Feeley is stepping down from his post because he can no longer serve president Donald Trump.
Feeley told the US State Department in a letter that he could no longer fulfill the foreign service oath “to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” according to Reuters, which was read part of the letter.
Feeley’s resignation puts an end to a long career at the State Department. He joined it in 1990, after serving as a Marine helicopter pilot, and has held diplomatic roles throughout the Americas. He was confirmed as ambassador to Panama in 2015. His last day will be March 9.
A Department of State spokesperson said Feeley told the agency on Dec. 27 he was retiring for personal reasons.
Morale at the agency has flagged since Trump took office. As the president cuts back on international cooperation, his top diplomat, former Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson, has been shrinking the size of the department.
Trump’s alleged comments about African nations being “shitholes” is unlikely to improve the mood among members of the US diplomatic corps.
This story was updated to include comments from the Department of State.