BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump’s ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson made ‘inappropriate’ comments about ‘sex, religion and color’ Inspector General finds – and the billionaire Jets owner hinted at firing staff who disagreed with him
- State Department’s IG found that ‘a more thorough review by the Department is warranted’
- Trump-appointed ambassador to the U.K. had ‘demanding, hard driving work style,’ some staff said
- Employees said Johnson ‘sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments’
- He is the New York Jets owner and an heir to Johnson & Johnson fortune
- Contained in broader look at ‘executive direction’ at the embassy
- Had ‘negative effect’ on morale
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked President Trump to fire the last IG amid multiple probes
The State Department’s Inspector General has released a 43-page report on the U.S. embassy to the United Kingdom that finds staff complained Ambassador Woody Johnson made ‘inappropriate or insensitive comments’ about race and sex.
The finding is included in a broader look at ‘executive direction, policy and program implementation, resource management’ and other issues at the U.S. embassy in London, one of the most important foreign diplomatic postings.
The IG concluded ‘a more thorough review by the Department is warranted,’ after briefly spelling out the allegations against the New York Jets owner and Johnson & Johnson heir.
US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson is accused of sometimes making ‘inappropriate or insensitive comments,’ according to a new Inspector General’s report
The IG investigators found ‘that some staff were impacted by the Ambassador’s demanding, hard driving work style and it had a negative effect on morale in some embassy sections.’
The IG learned through questionnaires and interviews ‘that the Ambassador sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or color.’
It did not specify what the comments were.
‘For example, some embassy staff told OIG that when the Ambassador was frustrated with what he interpreted to be excessive staff caution or resistance to suggestions about which he felt strongly, he sometimes questioned their intentions or implied that he might have them replaced,’ the IG wrote, commenting on Johnson’s leadership.
‘This caused staff to grow wary of providing him with their best judgment.’
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, passes Woody Johnson the U.S. Ambassador to Britain as he walks to 10 Downing Street in London, for his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Pompeo asked President Trump to fire the previous Inspector General for his agency
The comments are part of a broader look at the U.S. embassy in London
The report mentions personnel clashes, morale, and ‘insensitive’ comments dealing with rae and sex
The report quotes the Foreign Affairs Manual stating that ‘offensive or derogatory comments, based on an individual’s race, color, sex, or religion, can create an offensive working environment and could potentially rise to a violation’ of anti-discrimination laws.
Johnson is quoted in response to the draft report in May. ”If I have unintentionally offended anyone in the execution of my duties, I deeply regret that, but I do not accept that I have treated employees with disrespect or discriminated in any way,’ he wrote.
CNN reported last month that Johnson was being investigated for allegedly making racist and sexist comments – as well as for allegedly seeking to use his post to benefit the president’s Scottish golf courses by bringing the British Open to one of his courses.
”He’s said some pretty sexist, racist,’ a diplomat told the network.
The New York Times previously reported that Johnson asked a British diplomat who was representing Scotland about bringing the Open to Trump’s Turnberry golf course.
The IG’s report does not mention allegations about seeking to use his post to benefit the president’s business.