March 13, 2018

Menendez on Trump’s Firing of Tillerson

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after President Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and named Mike Pompeo as his nominee to assume the post:

“President Trump has demonstrated yet again that he is the Commander-in-Chaos.

“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.

“The State Department is in disarray because of President Trump and Secretary 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. Never has diplomacy been more important than at this time of proliferating global threats, from North Korea to Iran to Syria to Russia.

“Deputy Secretary Sullivan is a capable leader whom I trust will keep the Department afloat during this tumultuous time of transition.

“Director Pompeo has served his country in multiple capacities, and I look forward to a rigorous confirmation process to consider his nomination. 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.”

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