Resigned Foreign Service Officer Blasts ‘Cruelty’ and ‘Incompetence’ of Trump’s Gov’t: ‘The House is on Fire’


On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, former U.S. Foreign service officer Chuck Park sharply criticized the actions of President Donald Trump, saying his administration’s “naked, unapologetic cruelty” and “managerial incompetence” made him feel like “the house is on fire.”

Park resigned earlier in the week in a blistering Washington Post op-ed that disputed the idea of a “deep state” resisting Trump’s policies from within, and instead called out a “complacent state” of career officials who should be “named and shamed” for being complicit with the president’s transgressions.

Speaking with Cooper, Park went even further, and explained how his job was made that much harder by the actions — and Tweets — of the president.

“The past three years have felt like the house is on fire,” Park said. “And not only is it on fire, but there is a man purposely lighting more fires.”

When Cooper asked what prompted him to so publicly leave his job and condemn the president, Park didn’t point to one specific moment.

“There is no single kind of straw that broke the camel’s back,” Park explained. “There is a slow buildup, and maybe I’ll call it moral distress, with each successive kind of Tweet or action. I mean, it started with the Muslim ban, the Executive Order in January 2017. And then defending white nationalists after Charlottesville. It was family separation. It was revelations about squalid detention centers.”

The ex-foreign service office then contrasted his time working under the Obama administration with his two-and-a-half years in Trump’s administration.

“What’s different about this administration for me, and I only worked under two, but at least in my lifetime, I’ve seen a number of presidents,” Park said. “What’s different is kind of the naked unapologetic cruelty. That’s the first thing. The second thing is, you know, the sheer managerial incompetence of this administration. The rollout of the Muslim ban, that executive order, was disastrous.”

“This is the experience I’ve had personally. I’m absolutely sure many of my colleagues have had the same one,” Park added. “Every morning, we read our cable queue, an inbox of guidance straight out of State Department headquarters, drafted by, or at least cleared by, with the direction of political appointees. And, you know, as an example, a cable will contain talking points for the day, let’s say on trade, and I am tasked with memorizing those talking points and finding meetings with senior foreign officials and delivering dutifully those talking points. And it is happening to me that, in a meeting with a foreign official, kind of mid sentence, that official that I’m talking to will pick up their cell phone and point to a tweet from the president that directly contradicts what I’m saying in person.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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