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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

Sep 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.