President Trump doesn’t understand the role of the State Department, says Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who says that the Secretary of State needs to “rise above partisanship.”
Menendez, whose committee will handle the confirmation hearings of Trump’s nominee, Michael Pompeo, said that he looks forward to a “rigorous” process.
“I remain convinced that the best person to serve as the nation’s top diplomat must be someone who can rise above partisanship, and commit to promoting core American interests, including values-driven diplomacy,” said Menendez.
Menendez voted against Tillerson in committee last year, and opposed Pompeo’s nomination as CIA Director on the Senate floor.
“President Trump has demonstrated yet again that he is the Commander-in-Chaos,” said Menendez. “President Trump has never understood the critical role that the State Department plays in defining our values and promoting our interests abroad, or in advancing our national security and keeping the American people safe. His constant saber-rattling, and his verbal broadsides against diplomacy, our allies, and our values has ultimately weakened American leadership on the global stage.
Menendez says that the State Department has suffered by Trump and Rex Tillerson’s “misguided efforts to reform a Department they fundamentally do not understand.”
“The President has sought massive budget cuts to decimate the department, imposed arbitrary hiring freezes and degraded the morale of career public servants,” said Menendez. “Never has diplomacy been more important than at this time of proliferating global threats, from North Korea to Iran to Syria to Russia.”