US en­voy to Es­to­nia quits, cit­ing Trump’s at­tacks on EU

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS - Doug Stan­glin

As Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pre­pares for a visit to NATO and a sum­mit with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, the U.S. am­bas­sador to the Baltic na­tion of Es­to­nia says he has re­signed over frus­tra­tions with Trump’s treat­ment of Wash­ing­ton’s Euro­pean al­lies.

In a pri­vate Face­book mes­sage Fri­day, James D. Melville, a ca­reer diplo­mat for 33 years, wrote: “For the Pres­i­dent to say EU (Euro­pean Union) 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.”

Ex­cerpts of Melville’s state­ments were re­ported by the As­so­ci­ated Press and For­eign Pol­icy.

“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,” he wrote, ac­cord­ing to For­eign Pol­icy. “Hav­ing served un­der six pres­i­dents and 11 sec­re­taries of state, I never re­ally thought it would reach that point for me.”

Melville has served as the Amer­i­can am­bas­sador in Es­to­nia since 2015.

The U.S. Em­bassy in Tallinn did not im­me­di­ately com­ment, ac­cord­ing to the AP.

In Jan­uary, U.S. Am­bas­sador to Panama John Fee­ley, a ca­reer diplo­mat and for­mer Marine Corps he­li­copter pi­lot, re­signed his post, say­ing he no longer felt able to serve the pres­i­dent.

“As a ju­nior for­eign ser­vice of­fi­cer, I signed an oath to serve faith­fully the pres­i­dent and his ad­min­is­tra­tion in an apo­lit­i­cal fash­ion, even when I might not agree with cer­tain poli­cies,” Fee­ley said, ac­cord­ing to an ex­cerpt of a res­ig­na­tion let­ter read to Reuters.

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