Feinstein in the News

By Luis Sanchez

Originally published in The Hill.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that she opposes CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be secretary of State.

“I sense a certain disdain for diplomacy in Mike Pompeo that I believe disqualifies him from being our next senior diplomat,” Feinstein said in a press release. “I urge President Trump to nominate someone capable of proudly representing all of America in the pursuit of peace.”

Feinstein said that she was concerned about Pompeo’s past statements about Muslims and the LGBT community and thinks that the secretary of State should be “committed to diplomacy and view war as a last resort.”

She attacked Pompeo for his opposition to multilateral negotiations with Iran that later led to the Iran nuclear deal, which Pompeo said he “looked forward to rolling back.”

President Trump abruptly fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month and announced Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, as his replacement.

With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in Arizona battling cancer and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) saying he will vote "no", Pompeo would need at least one Democrat and all remaining Republicans in the Senate to back his confirmation.

Republicans and Trump have targeted a number of red-state Democrats who are vulnerable in the upcoming midterm elections and might vote for Trump’s nominee to win favor with Trump supporters in their districts.
Feinstein, however, is facing a primary challenge from the left in California but is unlikely to get a difficult Republican challenger in November's midterms.

Even though a substantial number of Democrats backed Pompeo during his confirmation to be CIA director, he has yet to receive a single Democrat’s commitment to vote for his confirmation in Foggy Bottom.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday that he will vote against Pompeo’s confirmation because of his hawkish record that would prioritize military solutions over diplomatic solutions.

Murphy’s opposition makes it harder for the committee to report him out favorably.