A president Donald Trump appointee to the Department of Homeland Security abruptly resigned Thursday after revelations emerged online that he previously made derogatory remarks about black people and Muslims on conservative talk radio.
The Washington Post reported that Rev. Jamie Johnson, who was appointed the head of the DHS’s Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships in April, appeared on the program in 2008 where he made the comments.
What fueled Johnson’s resignation was CNN’s release of some radio sound bytes dated from 2008-2016, in which he was caught saying things like:
‘[I]t’s an indictment of America’s black community that has turned America’s major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity.’
The Department of Homeland Security announced Johnson’s resignation on Thursday evening.
In a statement, DHS Secretary Tyler Houlton stated:
“Acting Secretary Duke has accepted Rev. Jamie Johnson’s resignation as Director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at DHS . . . 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.”
The news of the comments comes amid a national discussion about race that has grown more heated since Donald Trump’s election. A white supremacist rally at the site of a confederate monument in Charlottesville in August that devolved into violence brought the explosive issue of racial animus to the national discussion.
Trump’s former chief strategist and Breitbart CEO, Steve Bannon, who is a huge alt-right leader, was forced to resign in August. Also, current Attorney General Jeff Sessions once told a lawyer that he thought the KKK was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.”
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who appointed Johnson when he was DHS secretary, touched off a firestorm last month when he defended the honor of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and said a “lack of compromise” had caused the Civil War.