Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday made clear that her vote to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state will be a firm "no."
"The State Department needs a leader who will prioritize diplomacy," she tweeted. "The current nominee, Mike Pompeo, has defended the use of torture, tried to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, and scapegoated Muslim Americans after the Boston Marathon bombing. I won't vote to confirm him."
The State Department needs a leader who will prioritize diplomacy. The current nominee, Mike Pompeo, has defended the use of torture, tried to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, and scapegoated Muslim Americans after the Boston Marathon bombing. I won’t vote to confirm him.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 5, 2018
Pompeo's anti-Islam comments and connections were explored by the New York Times on Friday. The reporting references his ties to Act for America (ACT), which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as "an anti-Muslim hate group." Pompeo, ACT founder Brigitte Gabriel wrote in 2016, "has been a steadfast ally of ours since the day he was elected to Congress."
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Pompeo, who won confirmation approval as CIA director last year despite serious concerns raised by human rights groups, has also failed to unequivocally reject torture techniques and indicated he was open to waterboarding.
He's also called the Iran deal "disastrous," and argued that Iran was "intent of destroying America." In fact, argues U.S. Army strategist Major Danny Sjursen in a column this week for TomDispatch, "Pompeo could become the nation's first top diplomat in memory to be more hawkish than the secretary of defense."
Pompeo's confirmation hearing before the Senate foreign relations committee will take place at some point in April, possibly as soon as the 11th, Foreign Policy reports.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), as Common Dreams reported last month, is not urging his party members to oppose the nomination, and according to the Times, Pompeo "faces what is expected to be a relatively smooth confirmation hearing in the Senate."