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White House: Ambassador won't be punished for publicly linking U.S. founding to 'white supremacy'

Press secretary cites country's "history of institutional racism."

Updated: April 16, 2021 - 6:45pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The White House said on Friday that the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will not face punishment for publicly linking the United States' founding documents and principles to "white supremacy." 

Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the National Action Network on Wednesday that she has "seen for [herself] how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles," arguing that the U.S. is an "imperfect union" and has "been since the beginning."

Asked at a press briefing on Friday if Thomas-Greenfield would be removed from her position for those remarks, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded: "Is the President going to remove an African American woman with decades of experience in the Foreign Service who is widely respected around the world from her position as ambassador to the U.N.?  He is not."

Psaki, who admitted to having "[not] seen" Thomas-Greenfield's comments, added: "I will say that there's no question that there has been a history of institutional racism in this country, and that doesn't require the U.N. Ambassador to confirm that."

Pressed on whether or not President Joe Biden believes that America's foundational documents are saturated with racism, Psaki responded: "Certainly, I think most people recognize the history of systemic racism in our country, and [Thomas-Greenfield] was speaking to that."