WASHINGTON: Trump administration appointee Carl Higbie resigned on Thursday as chief of external affairs for the federal government’s volunteer service organisation after a CNN KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio.
“Effective immediately, Carl Higbie has resigned as Chief of External Affairs at CNCS,” Samantha Jo Warfield, a spokesperson for CNCS, said in a statement.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Higbie’s resignation.
Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and conservative media personality, was a surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, appearing on cable news and serving as the spokesman for the Trump-aligned Great America PAC. He was appointed to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in 2017 to direct the public image and messaging of the federal department that manages millions of Americans in volunteer services like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
CNCS, formed in 1993, connects volunteers with service opportunities, often in the neediest areas across the country. According to the organisation’s website, the projects are mainly focused on six priority areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.
In one of the comments unearthed by KFile, Higbie said you could “guess the colour” of a family he described that lived in his condo association.
“I told this story the other day on my show. Somebody who lives in my condo association that has five kids, and it’s her and her husband with the five kids and the mother, the grandmother of the kids, and they don’t have jobs, they’re there all the time – I bet you can guess what colour they are – and they have no job,” he said.
The remark is just one of several racist and inflammatory comments the KFile review found. As host of the radio program “Sound of Freedom,” on Internet talk radio, Higbie made shocking comments about black Americans, Muslims, women, LGBT people, veterans suffering from PTSD and immigrants.
Speaking on ‘Sound of Freedom’ in December 2013, Higbie, while recounting a time he placed an advertisement to give away free firewood, said: “the black race” had “lax” morals. He added that black women think “breeding is a form of government employment.”
He said, “We’re promoting birth control to a black woman because of the incredibly high rate of children born out of wedlock that is under-cared for or not cared for at all. The taxpayers are tired of supporting government checks going to these people who think that breeding is a form of employment. I’m sorry if black people are the majority of the targeted audience. They are, statistically, they are.”
Higbie repeatedly said on the radio that he did not like Muslims.
“People say, ‘you know, you’re so harsh,'” Higbie said on Warrior Talk Radio in August 2014. “I was called an Islamophobe and I was like, ‘no, no, no, no, no, I’m not afraid of them. I don’t like them. Big difference.’ And they were like, ‘well, you’re racist.’ I was like, fine if that’s the definition of it, then I guess I am.'”
Speaking on “Sound of Freedom” in June 2013, Higbie said he didn’t like Muslims because he hated their religious ideology.
On soldiers with PTSD
Higbie derided members of the military suffering from severe PTSD as having “a weak mind” and said 75 per cent of those afflicted were either lying or milking it for federal money.
“Yeah, I’m a gonna go out on a limb here and say, a lot of people are going to disagree with this comment,” Higbie said on Sound of Freedom in February 2013. “But severe PTSD, where guys are bugging out and doing violent acts, is a trait of a weak mind. Now things like (military member) Brandon, where he was legitimately blown up and a loud noise makes him on edge – completely understandable, but when someone performs an act of violence that is a, it is a weak mind. That is a crazy person, and the fact that they’re trying to hide it behind PTSD makes me want to vomit.”
Shooting undocumented immigrants
In a February 2013 episode of “Sound of Freedom,” Higbie said American citizens with guns should be allowed to go to the border to shoot undocumented immigrants crossing into the US.
“You cross my border, I will shoot you in the face,” Higbie exclaimed. “I will go down there. I’ll volunteer to go down there and stand on that border for, I don’t know, a week or so at a time and that’ll be my civic duty. I’ll volunteer to do it.”
Smeared Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
In June 2013 on Sound of Freedom, Higbie called California Sen Dianne Feinstein a “bitch” whose head he would like to smack into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s.
“Nothing gets me going like Ted Cruz, when he went off on the Feinstein Bitch about the Second Amendment and he put her in her place,” Higbie said. “That was just fantastic. I can’t stand that woman. She’s another one. Her and Pelosi. I’d love to just take both their heads and smack them together a couple of times.”
On gay people
In May 2013 on Sound of Freedom, Higbie said he did not like gay people.
“Rhode Island, land of more liberals, has just OK’ed, gay marriage,” Higbie said. “Congratuf’in’lations, you suck Rhode Island. Why would you do that? Go ahead and twist the knife a little, little bit more. I mean, you are breaking the morals, the moral fibre of our country. You know, I don’t like gay people. I just don’t.”
Higbie frequently questioned the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.
In 2015, Higbie spoke for nearly an hour with “Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate” radio.
“This birth certificate thing,” Higbie said. “Sure, absolutely legitimate claim. You want to know if this, where this guy was born. That’s a legitimate question.” Higbie added later that Obama’s birth certificate was “pixelated.”
In March 2013 on Sound of Freedom, Higbe called Obama “the Muslim who was born in Kenya – don’t even get me started on that.”
Claims that Obama was born in Kenya or that he forged his documents are false.