President Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Norway, Mark Burkhalter, was involved in the creation of a racist campaign flier that included a doctored photo of a Black politician, according to a court filing obtained by The Washington Post.
The newspaper reports the flier was an attack on Gordon Joyner, a candidate for county commissioner in Georgia in 1994. The flier included a doctored image of Joyner, who was shown with a large Afro hairdo, darkened features, and “a warped eye.” Joyner sued for libel over the flier, and the case settled out of court, with Burkhalter and three others issuing him a signed apology and paying him money.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that Burkhalter never came clean about the controversy to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “These actions should disqualify anyone from Senate confirmation,” he wrote. “During this time of national trauma and reckoning over violence and racist actions against African-Americans, however, it is unthinkable to nominate for a position of public trust an individual who participated in such a despicable, racist scheme. I therefore urge you to immediately withdraw his nomination.”