Trickle May Become a Stream of Diplomats Escaping Trump

US ambassador to Estonia resigns over Trump policies and provocations

Julian BorgerJune 30, 2018

The US ambassador to Estonia has announced his resignation, citing Donald’s Trump’s disparagement of the European Union and Nato and adding to a steady trickle of career diplomats leaving in protest against the president’s policies.

Jim Melville, a 33-year diplomat who has been posted in Tallinn since 2015, was approaching retirement but announced his decision to leave early to friends in a private Facebook posting that was obtained by Foreign Policy. The post refers to Trump’s remarks that have surfaced in the past week.

Melville wrote: “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. Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me.

“For the President to say the EU 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.”

The state department later confirmed that Melville would leave the foreign service on 29 July.

The resignation of a senior diplomat from a critical posting in eastern Europe comes at a time of rising apprehension among many US and European officials about Trump’s looming visit to Europe starting on 11 July. He will attend a Nato summit in Brussels then visit the UK, followed by a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The greatest fear among allies is that the president will

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