The billionaire NFL owner who serves as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom was investigated by the State Department watchdog after allegations that he made racist and sexist comments to staff and sought to use his government position to benefit the President’s personal business in the UK.
Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson, the top envoy since August 2017 to one of the United States’ most important allies, made racist generalizations about Black men and questioned why the Black community celebrates Black History Month, according to exclusive new information shared by three sources and a diplomat familiar with the complaints to the State Department inspector general.
His comments about women’s looks have been “cringeworthy,” a source with knowledge of the situation said, and two sources said it was a struggle to get him on board for an event for International Women’s Day.
“He’s said some pretty sexist, racist,” things, the diplomat with knowledge of the complaints made to the IG said of Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune and one of the owners of the New York Jets.
Asked about the specific allegations, Johnson did not deny them. He called it an “honor of a lifetime” to serve as ambassador and “to lead the talented, diverse team of the U.S. Mission to the United Kingdom.”
Johnson called the team “the best in diplomacy” adding, “I greatly value the extraordinary work that each and every member of the team does to strengthen and deepen our vital alliance.”
The White House had no comment on the allegations against Johnson and referred reporters to the State Department.