Why Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president was troubling to those in the know on Ukraine policy
It creates a problem again where all of the things that we’re trying to do to advance the bilateral relationship, strengthen our support for Ukraine, strengthen the positioning against Russia is now getting sucked into a domestic political debate in the U.S., domestic political narrative that overshadows that. And I think that is extremely unfortunate for our policy with Ukraine.… [A]sking the President of Ukraine to work together with the Attorney General and to look into this, you can see, as it has now happened, this becomes explosive in our domestic politics.
On why diplomacy matters to the United States in the first place
Being a diplomat for the United States means supporting millions of Americans overseas. It means supporting our companies to create jobs at home. It means resolving conflicts that impact the United States. It means keeping the homeland safe. It means working with our military, the agency, all of our civilian agencies on projecting our interests and influence overseas. It means projecting American values. … I’ve worked in conflict areas the world over. And by diplomats doing what they do overseas, they help keep this country secure and prosperous and also offer us the possibility of being linked to the outside world. In terms of supporting our values, we’re also the front line in promoting issues of human rights, democracy, and cooperation internationally.
In this context, frankly, to see the emerging information on the engagement of our missions to procure negative political information for domestic purposes, combined with the failure I saw in the building to provide support for our professional cadre in a particularly trying time, I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide enough, that I had — I had no longer a useful role to play.
On politicizing the Foreign Service
I have seen other Foreign Services where it’s very clear what people’s political leanings are and, the more senior those bureaucrats are, how they play the game with different governments that are elected in their countries. The beauty of the Foreign Service, the Foreign Service that I’ve known through some incredibly difficult moments for our country and in bilateral relations with different places, is I don’t know the political views of the vast majority of my colleagues. They certainly don’t know mine. And we are able to work together and project working for the administration of the day. That’s absolutely central to our work. The day we begin to identify ourselves as partisan, that capacity to project support for the interests of the United States and to do our work for administrations we are bound to work for the administration that has been elected by the American people. But you begin to break that down if you begin to inject politics into the equation.