State Department science envoy resigns in protest of Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump gives the crowd a thumbs up at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 22, 2017.

Joshua Roberts / REUTERS

Last Updated Aug 23, 2017 5:46 PM EDT

Daniel Kammen, the State Department's science envoy, is resigning from his position in response to President Trump's "attacks on core values of the United States" after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Twitter users pointed out that the first letter of each paragraph in Kammen's resignation letter spells out, "impeach." 

"My decision to resign is in response to your attacks on core values of the United States," Kammen wrote in a resignation letter addressed to Mr. Trump and posted to Twitter Wednesday. "Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications."

Kammen is only the latest administration official or board member to resign in light of Charlottesville. Both of Mr. Trump's business advisory councils were forced to disband after multiple private sector members backed out of their posts. 

Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said he has served in various positions at the Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Department since 1996, working with others to build "significant" partnerships abroad around "shared visions of national security, job creation in the U.S. and sustainable energy." But Mr. Trump's "pattern of behavior" has spawned harmful international implications, Kammen wrote.

"Particularly troubling to me is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet," Kammen wrote. 

"Examples of this destructive pattern have consequences on my duties as science envoy," Kammen's letter continued. "Your decision to abdicate the leadership opportunities and the job creation benefits of the Paris Climate Accord, and to undermine energy and environmental research are not acceptable to me."

Kammen expressed regret for resigning, but said continuing his role would be "inconsistent" with the principles of his oath to the country. 

"Acts and words matter," Kammen added. "To continue in my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere. Character is vital in leadership. I find particularly wise the admonition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who cautioned that, "A people [or person] that values its privileges above principles soon loses both."

"Herein, with regret, I resign," Kammen's letter concluded. "I deeply respect and value the work of the many fine people I have encountered in our federal agencies and will miss the opportunity to work with and support them. Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet."

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.