Mary Elizabeth Taylor, right, watches Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley swear in Judge Neil Gorsuch in March 2017. Photo: Stephen Crowley-Pool/Getty Images

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the first black woman to serve as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, resigned from the State Department on Thursday in apparent protest of President Trump's response to weeks of nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd, the Washington Post reports.

What she's saying: “Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character. The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions,” Taylor wrote in a resignation letter obtained by the Post.

  • “I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs," Taylor said in her letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • “I am deeply grateful to you, Mr. Secretary, for empowering me to lead this team and strategically advise you over these last two years. You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership have made me a better leader and team member. I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events.”

Between the lines: 54% of Americans — and 22% of Republicans — said in a recent poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that Trump has made things worse after the killing of George Floyd and following weeks of protest.

Go deeper: Trump claims "nobody had ever heard" of Juneteenth and that he made it "very famous"

Go deeper

National security officials endorse Biden

Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

A group of 489 former national security leaders, including Paul Selva, a retired four-star general and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump, have endorsed Joe Biden for president.

The big picture: Among the names signing Thursday’s letter: Sean O'Keefe, a former Navy secretary for President George H.W. Bush; Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state for President George W. Bush; and Admiral Steve Abbot (ret.) who also worked in the last Bush White House.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: