Politico

House Democrats call for resignation of USAID political appointee with history of 'homophobic' comments


House Democrats on Wednesday demanded the resignation of a U.S. Agency for International Development appointee over her reported history of “homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic” comments.

Twenty Democratic representatives, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, wrote in a letter to acting USAID Administrator John Barsa that the agency’s deputy White House liaison, Merritt Corrigan, holds positions “in direct opposition to the work USAID supports.”

The letter is the latest step congressional Democrats have taken in response to the presence of controversial Trump appointees at USAID, which has sparked tensions among career staff.

In 2019, POLITICO reported on Corrigan’s Twitter account and cataloged a number of posts that lawmakers cited in their letter. Corrigan wrote that “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

“Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself,” Corrigan wrote in another post.

“We are left wondering how Ms. Corrigan is able to effectively serve an agency whose principles are so clearly antithetical to her own,” House Democrats wrote in the letter.

POLITICO also reported that Corrigan wrote an op-ed in The Conservative that called for women to assume traditional gender roles of mother, wife and homemaker.

“Based on these statements, so hostile to the core mission of the agency, it is clear that Ms. Corrigan cannot effectively liaise with the White House and meet USAID’s staffing needs,” the Democratic letter read.

In June, ProPublica reported Corrigan had joined USAID as deputy White House liaison.

Corrigan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The letter from House Democrats comes a month after Reps. Joaquin Castro and Ilhan Omar called on Barsa to fire USAID Religious Freedom Adviser Mark Kevin Lloyd, a political appointee with a reported history of Islamophobic comments.

Earlier in June, seven Democratic senators demanded an investigation into reported homophobic and Islamophobic statements made by Corrigan and Lloyd.

Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.

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