Trump’s science envoy quits in scathing letter with an embedded message

By Dan Drollette Jr | August 25, 2017

Resignation seems to be the word of the day in Washington. As in “resignation letter.”

This morning, the New York Times confirmed a rumor that had been swirling around the capital: In the days immediately after  Charlottesville—and the president’s subsequent defense of white supremacists—prominent Trump administration economic adviser Gary Cohn had indeed drafted his resignation letter. And he continues to be at odds with the White House, saying that “this administration can and must do better…” 

“Mr. Cohn’s decision to publicly distance himself from the president comes at an awkward time, as Mr. Trump prepares next week to start a major national effort to sell a tax-cut plan, which Mr. Cohn has been toiling for months behind the scenes to craft,” notes the Times article.

It was seemingly just one more in a spate of resignation letters lately. But there’s more to some of these letters than first meets the eye, observed the Washington Post on Wednesday in its “Speaking of Science” column. For example, when UC/Berkeley professor and renewable energy expert Daniel Kammen resigned that day as Trump’s science envoy to the State Department “…[H]is most biting message may have come in the form of a hidden acrostic: The first letter of each paragraph spelled out I-M-P-E-A-C-H.”

In the text itself, Kammen wrote that Trump had attacked core values of the United States that would have domestic and international ramifications, and cited concerns about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord as reasons for his resignation. The State Department’s Science Envoy program supports the establishment, strengthening, and mobilization of regional and global networks of scientists to advance US science and technology priorities and solve real-world problems; in addition to that position, Kammen also served in other federal roles since 1996, including at the Energy Department and the EPA. (And in the small world department, Kammen has written stories for the Bulletin such as “Solar energy innovation and Silicon Valley.”)

Wednesday’s Post article noted another seeming coincidence: When members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities unanimously resigned last Friday, the first letters of each paragraph in their joint resignation, taken together, spelled out: “R-E-S-I-S-T.”


Publication Name: Washington Post
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