U.S. Senator Bob Menendez says he will vote against the confirmation of Mike Pompeo for U.S. Secretary of State.
“While Director Pompeo was certainly constrained by the Administration’s lack of vision, his own personal record is deeply troubling,” said Menendez, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “He has a preference for military action before exhausting diplomacy.”
Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is President Donald Trump’s choice to succeed Rex Tillerson at the State Department.
Menendez cited Pompeo’s failure to defend past comments he made as a Kansas congressman about Muslims or explain past positions that deny human rights to women and LGBTQ individuals.
The New Jersey senator also criticized Pompeo for not offering specific approaches to the conflict in Syria, and for not disclosing his visit to North Korea during private conversations the two had prior to the Senate confirmation hearing.
“I believe our nation’s top diplomat must be forthright, and, more critically, his past sentiments do not reflect our nation’s values, and are not acceptable for our nation’s top diplomat,” Menendez said. “The American people deserve better.”
U.S. Senator Cory Booker has already announced that he will also oppose Pompeo’s nomination.