DHS official resigns amid controversy over comments
Department of Homeland Security official Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday.
Department of Homeland Security official Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday, stepping down from his role as director of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships for the DHS after his past comments on the black community and Islam surfaced.
On Thursday, CNN published the remarks, which Johnson made during radio appearances between 2008 and 2016. In a clip that CNN said dates back to 2008, Johnson is asked why “a lot of blacks” are anti-Semitic.
"I think one of the reasons why is because Jewish people, from their coming to America in great waves in the early part of the 1800s, immediately rolled up their sleeves and began to work so hard and applied themselves to education and other means of improvement," Johnson responded, adding that the example is “an indictment of America's black community that has turned America's major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity.”
Johnson differentiated between black people born in the United States with black immigrants, who he suggested are especially hard-working.
On Iowa's "Mickelson in the Morning" radio show, Johnson said he agreed with the sentiment that “really all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies,” according to a clip published by CNN.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke accepted Johnson’s resignation Thursday.
“His comments were made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration,” DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton told ABC News. “The department thanks him for his recent work assisting disaster victims and the interfaith community.”
Johnson joined the department at the beginning of Trump’s administration after working for his campaign in Iowa, and was appointed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was the secretary of the DHS at the time.
“Before accepting his appointment, he worked for many years in international humanitarian relief, helping charities provide food, water, clothing, and medical care to those suffering from natural disaster, famine, and poverty,” read his official DHS bio, which has since been pulled from FEMA’s website.
Johnson did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.