The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration

“John Feeley, the Ambassador to Panama and a former Marine helicopter pilot, is not averse to strong language, but he was nevertheless startled by his first encounter with President Donald Trump. Summoned to deliver a briefing in June, 2017, he was outside the Oval Office when he overheard Trump concluding a heated conversation, ‘Fuck him! Tell him to sue the government.’ Feeley was escorted in, and saw that Mike Pence, John Kelly, and several other officials were in the room. As he took a seat, Trump asked, ‘So tell me—what do we get from Panama? What’s in it for us?’ Feeley presented a litany of benefits: help with counter-narcotics work and migration control, commercial efforts linked to the Panama Canal, a close relationship with the current President, Juan Carlos Varela. When he finished, Trump chuckled and said, ‘Who knew?’ He then turned the conversation to the Trump International Hotel and Tower, in Panama City. ‘How about the hotel?’ he said. ‘We still have the tallest building on the skyline down there?’”