“USAID takes any claim of discrimination seriously, and we will investigate any complaints of anti-Christian bias Ms. Corrigan has raised during her tenure at the Agency,” said Pooja Jhunjhunwala, the agency’s acting spokesperson, who declined to characterize the nature of her departure.
Earlier in the afternoon, Corrigan had written an angry series of tweets targeting gay and transgender people.
“For too long, I’ve remained silent as the media has attacked me for my Christian beliefs, which are shared by the majority of Americans Let me clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage Men aren’t women US-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First
“The United States is losing ground in the battle to garner influence through humanitarian aid because we now refuse to help countries who don’t celebrate sexual deviancy,” Corrigan added. “Meanwhile, Russia and China are happy to step in and eat our lunch.”
Both USAID and the State Department consider part of their mission is to speak out against discrimination against gay people abroad.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee tweeted Monday that Corrgan has repeatedly belittled women, LGBTQ people and other minorities.
Corrigan, who could not be reached for comment, said she planned to attend a news conference Thursday “to discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID.” She vowed to “expose” how Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), who sit on the foreign policy committees in the Senate and House, had “engaged in a corrupt campaign to remove me from USAID.” And she accused Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) of demanding her dismissal “purely because of my Christian beliefs I WILL NOT be bullied into submission by radical anti-Christian leftists like Cory Booker.”
Kaine and Booker were among seven senators who wrote to John Barsa, the acting USAID administrator, expressing concerns over Barsa’s public support for Corrigan and other appointees with a history of belittling minorities. Their subsequent conversation was described as “very positive.”
“He assured me that bigotry would not be tolerated within the agency,” Kaine said in a statement. “Corrigan’s tweets today came out of the blue and I have no idea what inspired them. I am a Christian and do not believe people should blame their bigotry on Jesus.”
Before coming to USAID, Corrigan had worked at the Republican National Committee and at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington. In her latter job she often tweeted her support for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing politician who has been condemned for stifling civil liberties. She called him “the shining champion of Western civilization.” In the past, she also has written tweets blasting feminism, liberal democracy and refugees.
During her short tenure at USAID, her views created an uproar among many longtime employees. CNN reported that USAID employee groups were so concerned that they complained about Corrigan and other appointees in a meeting with Barsa. In statement after that meeting, he defended Corrigan and the others, and described it as an “honor” to have them working at the agency.