On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Woody Johnson, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, demanded that State Department auditors remove reference to his racially and sexually inappropriate remarks to staff from a report to be released to the public.
“The final report from the State Department’s Office of Inspector General said that staff at the American Embassy in London had reported being subject to ‘inappropriate or insensitive comments’ by Mr. Johnson on topics that may have included references to “religion, sex, or color.” It did not provide specific examples of his remarks,” reported Lara Jakes and Mark Landler. “Several current and former American diplomats have told The New York Times that Mr. Johnson, a pharmaceutical heir who owns the New York Jets, often made female and Black staff members uncomfortable with comments about their appearances or race after he took up his post in London in November 2017.”
“One Black female diplomat told colleagues that Mr. Johnson disparaged her efforts to schedule events for Black History Month, asking her whether he would have to address an audience that was ‘just a bunch of Black people,'” said the report. “He told the diplomat, who later left the Foreign Service, that she was ‘marginalizing’ herself.”
In another incident, according to the report, “At his weekly staff meeting, Mr. Johnson once pointed out to colleagues that he had seen a female employee working out in the embassy’s gym that morning. He joined an exclusive men’s club in London, White’s, that does not allow women, and as a result, did not invite the embassy’s female political affairs counselor, but rather her male deputy, when he held business lunches there.”
Johnson has been mired in controversy following another incident in which the president allegedly asked him to try to get the British Open hosted at his Scottish golf resort, the Trump Turnberry. Johnson reportedly brought up the idea with Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell, even though a top deputy warned him it was unethical.