June 26 (UPI) -- Assistant Secretary of State Sean Lawler, the lead go-between for President Donald Trump and foreign dignitaries, is out of the job amid accusations of harassment and discrimination, reports said Wednesday.
Lawler, who served more than 20 years in the Navy before his appointment, has been removed from the State Department post and is not expected to return, NBC News reported, citing two U.S. officials. They said he will not travel to Japan for this week's G20 summit.
Lawler has been accused of intimidating staff and bringing a whip into the office. Mary-Kate Fisher has been named acting chief while Cathy Fenton, who served as social secretary in the George W. Bush White House, was appointed acting deputy. Bloomberg and CNN cited multiple officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
Named chief of protocol in December 2017, Lawler was the U.S. government's "first hand" in welcoming world leaders to the United States and served as one of the first contacts for diplomatic engagements. He often informed Trump on proper protocol while dealing with various heads of state. The position is also responsible for advising the president, vice president and secretary of state on international diplomatic protocol -- and holds concurrent titles of ambassador and assistant secretary of state
According to Lawler's State Department biography, he had served as director for visits, planning, and diplomatic affairs on the National Security Council. Lawler finished his military service as the Naval Support Facility's director of administration at Camp David. He also served as the administrative department leading chief petty officer and ship secretary on the USS John S. Stennis.