House Democrats call for firing of USAID political appointee with history of Islamophobic statements

House Democrats call for firing of USAID political appointee with history of Islamophobic statements

A spokesperson for USAID did not immediately return a request for comment.

The letter from House Democrats comes weeks after seven Democratic senators demanded an investigation into reported offensive comments from both Lloyd and USAID Deputy White House Liaison Merritt Corrigan.

POLITICO reported that the recent hirings of Lloyd and Corrigan sparked internal turmoil within the agency due to their history of offensive social media statements.

A 2016 Associated Press investigation revealed that Lloyd, then the Trump campaign’s Virginia field director, shared a Facebook post calling Islam “a barbaric cult.” The investigation also found that days after an Islamic extremist carried out a mass shooting in Orlando, Lloyd shared a meme that said people should be forced to eat bacon before they can purchase guns.

The comments recently resurfaced in a Washington Post article that documented Lloyd’s appointment as USAID’s religious freedom adviser in late May. A USAID spokesperson told the Post that Lloyd’s “barbaric cult” comment was in reference to radical Islam, not the religion as a whole.

The Post also reported Lloyd accused former President Barack Obama of being connected with the Muslim Brotherhood in subsequent Facebook posts. The spokesperson did not explain Lloyd’s other reported Islamophobic statements.

Castro (D-Texas) and Omar (D-Minn.) wrote that the agency’s response to Lloyd’s statements is “woefully inadequate.”

“Far from an isolated incident of poor judgment, Mr. Lloyd’s behavior openly and frequently displays his contempt for a religion that counts nearly two billion followers, and constitutes the second largest religion in the world,” Castro and Omar wrote in the letter. “He does not represent the values of our country, and he should not be in a position to betray our nation’s constitutional promise of religious freedom.”

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