Former United States foreign service officer Chuck Park recently sat down in an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper to explain how the past three years of the Trump administration “have felt like the house is on fire.”
Park, who is the first Asian American to resign from the current government, quit his State Department post at the U.S. consulate in Vancouver, Canada last week in protest of what he described as a “toxic agenda” of the current administration.
On Thursday, Park wrote a scathing opinion piece published by The Washington Post, stating that he was “ashamed of how long it took me to make this decision” to resign. He noted, however, that he could “no longer justify” his “complicity in the actions of this administration.”
He would then tell Cooper on Friday that not only is Trump’s governance on fire, but “there is a man purposely lighting more fires.”
According to Park, what prompted him to resign was the “slow buildup, and maybe I’ll call it moral distress, with each successive kind of tweet or action.”
“It started with the Muslim ban, the executive order on January 2017, and then defending white nationalists after Charlottesville,” he went on. “It was family separation. It was revelations about squalor detention centers. It was … federal agents kicking down doors and arresting parents on their children’s first day of school.”
“What’s different is kind of the naked unapologetic cruelty,” he added.
As an example of Trump’s “sheer managerial incompetence,” he cited the president’s “disastrous” executive order in January 2017 that stopped citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Park pointed out how consulate officers at the time were left without any idea “it was coming.” He recalled that when the announcement was made, many were caught mid-conversation in pre-scheduled interviews with people from the affected countries.
He also denied the existence of a “Deep State,” the alleged underground governance working to subvert President Donald Trump. Rather than a “Deep State,” Park noted that the federal bureaucracy which he had been a part of would be better called “the complacent state.”
“I certainly saw people’s personal reservations. I never saw a deep state. What I did see was people kind of really weighing this thing,” he said.