House of Representatives Minority Whip Steny Hoyer:
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced the nominations of Mike Pompeo as the next Secretary of State and Gina Haspel as the next CIA Director:
“I thank Secretary Tillerson for his service and congratulate Mike Pompeo on his nomination to serve as our next Secretary of State. I hope he recognizes the outstanding talent at our State Department and takes steps to stop the hollowing out of our career foreign service, which undermines our national security. As Secretary of State, he will have a critical role to play in making clear to Russia that it cannot interfere in our elections without severe consequences.
“I also offer my congratulations to Gina Haspel on her nomination to lead the agency she has served for more than thirty years – and on being the first woman nominated to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The men and women of CIA play a vital role in protecting our nation against foreign threats, and I look forward to working with Director-Designate Haspel to keep America safe.”
US Senator Ben Cardin:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“Secretary Tillerson’s firing is symptomatic of President Trump’s inability to take independent advice from his advisors. While Secretary Tillerson and I may have disagreed on many policy issues, it was apparent – particularly when it came to North Korea and Iran – that he gave the president an unvarnished look at the realities and the importance of diplomacy in critical situations. It is disturbing to see such a high-level change in our diplomatic team as negotiations with North Korea move into a new and delicate stage.
“As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I intend to press Director Pompeo on how he currently views America’s role in the world. I want to know whether he recognizes the role of the State Department in promoting America’s values, human rights and democracy around the world and how that strengthens U.S. national security here at home. I also will be looking for details of how he intends to rebuild the State Department’s diplomatic infrastructure and support our Foreign Service and civilian workers.
“I voted against Mr. Pompeo when he was nominated for CIA director because of his troubling opposition to closing Guantanamo Bay and his willingness to not only support but expand bulk collection of innocent Americans’ personal information. I am hopeful that after his time at the CIA, Director Pompeo has a greater appreciation for the balance between national security and civil rights, as well as the important role of our national security public servants. I look forward to a robust hearing in the near future.”
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