The US ambassador to Panama has resigned from his post on principle, writing in a resignation letter to the State Department that he can no longer serve the Trump administration.
The US State Department confirmed the departure of John D Feeley, saying he decided to “retire for personal reasons, as of 9 March this year”.
Mr Feeley wrote in his resignation letter: “As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies.
“My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honour-bound to resign. That time has come.”
The State Department learned of his plans on 27 December, Reuters reported – well before the Washington Post reported Donald Trump had referred to “s***hole countries” in a meeting about immigration.
Haiti, El Salvador and unspecified African nations were said to have been among those discussed with the President at a briefing with congressional leaders.
Mr Trump has denied he used that language but admitted speaking in a “tough” manner during the Oval Office meeting on immigration reform and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.