State Department watchdog finds Trump’s U.K. ambassador ‘made inappropriate or insensitive comments’

Source: Politico | August 12, 2020 | Quint Forgey

But the envoy, Woody Johnson, rejected the inspector general’s findings and recommendation.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General concluded that President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom made offensive remarks to staff at the U.S. Embassy in London, according to a report released Wednesday.

The inspector general’s office “learned, through employee questionnaires and interviews, that the Ambassador,” billionaire New York Jets co-owner Woody Johnson, “sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or color.”

Such “offensive or derogatory comments, based on an individual’s race, color, sex, or religion, can create an offensive working environment and could potentially rise to a violation of EEO laws,” the IG report states, deeming that a “more thorough review by the Department is warranted.”

The IG report also found that some embassy staff “were impacted by the Ambassador’s demanding, hard driving work style,” which it stated “had a negative effect on morale in some embassy sections.”

The revelations from the department’s independent watchdog come after CNN reported last month that Johnson, a prominent Republican donor and heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune, was investigated by the inspector general for his alleged remarks, as well as for allegedly using his official position to attempt to benefit the president’s personal business interests in the U.K.

The New York Times also reported last month that Johnson had discussed with Scotland’s secretary of state in 2018 the possibility of hosting the British Open golf tournament at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland. Johnson told colleagues at the time that the president had asked him to help secure the choice of venue, the Times reported.

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