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Trump’s science envoy quits with scathing letter with an embedded message: ‘I-M-P-E-A-C-H’

Daniel Kammen, a renewable energy expert.Energy and Resources Group at University of California Berkeley

Daniel Kammen, a renewable energy expert appointed last year as a science envoy to the State Department, resigned Wednesday, citing President Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the final straw that led to his departure.

In a resignation letter posted to Twitter, Kammen wrote that Trump’s remarks about the racial violence in Virginia had attacked ‘‘core values of the United States’’ and that it would have ‘‘domestic and international ramifications.’’

Kammen, who was appointed during Barack Obama’s presidency, said it would be unconscionable for him to continue serving the administration after those remarks. He said he stood with ‘‘the unequivocal and authoritative statements’’ of a slew of other public officials, both Democratic and Republican.


‘‘Acts and words matter,’’ Kammen wrote. ‘‘To continue in my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere.’’

However, his 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.’’

The State Department appointed Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as one of five U.S. science envoys in March 2016. At the time, Kammen said he would be working on various global energy initiatives, as well as ‘‘the wider Paris Accord.’’

In his resignation letter, Kammen also cited other concerns that predated Trump’s Charlottesville comments, including the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in June.

Kammen did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Kammen wrapped up his resignation letter with something of a warning for Trump, borrowing the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower: ‘‘A people [or person] that values its privileges above principles soon loses both.’’