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Trump’s ambassador to UK cleared of making inappropriate comments about race and gender

·2-min read
New York Jets owner and chairman Woody Johnson speaks to reporters at the team’s NFL football facility in Florham Park, N.J, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP)
New York Jets owner and chairman Woody Johnson speaks to reporters at the team’s NFL football facility in Florham Park, N.J, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP)

Woody Johnson, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the UK from 2017 to January 2021, has been cleared of making inappropriate comments about race, gender, and religion.

The State Department’s Office of Civil Rights found that the allegations against Mr Johnson were “unsubstantiated”.

The New York Jets owner was accused of making improper remarks to embassy staff in London last year.

The State Department’s inspector general issued a report in August of 2020 that staff at the American embassy claimed that Mr Johnson “sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or colour”.

From the official account of the US ambassador, Mr Johnson tweeted on 22 July 2020: "I have followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times. These false claims of insensitive remarks about race and gender are totally inconsistent with my longstanding record and values.”

Fox News obtained correspondence from the State Department’s Office of Civil Rights from 12 January 2021 with the subject: “Inquiry re Robert Wood Johnson, Ambassador”.

“Pursuant to the Department’s Harassment Policies,” an investigation was conducted “into allegations of harassment regarding the above-named subject,” the correspondence said.

“There were three categories of allegations: race, sex, and religion,” the message added. “After careful review of the evidence, S/OCR concluded that the allegations against Ambassador Robert Johnson were unsubstantiated workplace harassment and, therefore, not a violation of [harassment policies].”

“All of those allegations were looked at by the highest levels of the State Department,” Mr Johnson told reporters this week. “The Office of Civil Rights conducted an extensive survey and all of the allegations and concluded that none of it was substantiated. None of it.”

He added that his wife Suzanne was “absolutely furious” about the allegations made against her husband because “this goes against my history and everything I’ve done for my entire life”.

It had been “very, very hard on me to listen to all this stuff,” Mr Johnson said.

After leaving the ambassadorship in London, Mr Johnson returned to overseeing the New York Jets.

The State Department declined to comment.

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