Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today submitted the following statement for the record on her opposition to Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State:
“The Secretary of State must be well-versed in the art of diplomacy. They must possess a deft touch necessary to operate on the world stage. Unfortunately, Mr. Pompeo’s record and his rhetoric show how ill-matched he is for this position.
“Above all, I fear that he would only reinforce President Trump’s worst impulses to lash out at our adversaries rather than pursue dogged diplomacy.”
Full text of the statement follows:
“Mr. President, I rise today in opposition to the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State.
After considering his testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, his work as Director of the CIA and his record as a Congressman, I believe he doesn’t possess the skill set necessary to be our country’s top diplomat.
The Secretary of State must be well-versed in the art of diplomacy. They must possess a deft touch necessary to operate on the world stage. Unfortunately, Mr. Pompeo’s record and his rhetoric show how ill-matched he is for this position.
Above all, I fear that he would only reinforce President Trump’s worst impulses to lash out at our adversaries rather than pursue dogged diplomacy.
This is particularly concerning when it comes to Iran.
The Iran nuclear agreement is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated. It blocks Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, protecting our security and the security of our partners in the region.
By all reports, it appears President Trump is set on walking away from the Iran nuclear agreement next month, even though Iran continues to abide by its strict terms.
If confirmed, I don’t believe Mr. Pompeo would even try to walk the president back from that foolish decision. Instead, he would most likely feed the president’s desire to leave, not because of its merits but simply because it was negotiated by President Obama.
To be clear, if the United States abandons the agreement, we will do so on our own.
Our international partners—including the United Kingdom, France and Germany—have said they will remain in the agreement so long as Iran complies with it. And, to date, the IAEA inspectors and our own intelligence community have all said that Iran remains in full compliance.
When the nuclear agreement was signed, Iran was less than a year away from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Today, all of Iran’s paths to a weapon—the plutonium, uranium and covert—are blocked.
The fact that today Iran cannot obtain a nuclear bomb is in spite of Mr. Pompeo’s efforts. During the negotiations leading up to the agreement, then-Congressman Pompeo not only called for the United States to abandon diplomatic efforts, he encouraged us to attack Iran.
He said, ‘It is under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces.’
Yet, during his recent confirmation hearing, he was unable to source that claim or name which other nations would have joined our coalition. That’s an especially perplexing position since our strongest allies were all negotiating alongside the United States at the time.
After the nuclear agreement came into effect, Mr. Pompeo continued his campaign by sending the Supreme Leader a highly provocative letter. He taunted Tehran, asking for a visa to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities, monitor their elections and receive a briefing on their ballistic missile programs. His publicity stunt only served to further inflame tensions between our countries.
Finally, shortly after our elections and the day before he was nominated to be the Director of the CIA, he tweeted: ‘I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.’
When asked about his position during his confirmation hearing, Mr. Pompeo instead simply discounted the real and dangerous possibility that Iran would restart its nuclear weapons program if we abandon the agreement.
I see no reason to believe his misinformed views have changed in the past year.
As troubling as Mr. Pompeo’s hostile view toward Iran is, I’m equally concerned by his divisive remarks about minority groups within the United States.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings, Mr. Pompeo falsely suggested Muslim-Americans were complicit in the attacks
The following year, he characterized U.S. counter-terrorism efforts as a struggle between Islam and Christianity.
After the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Mr. Pompeo said the court’s opinion was a “shocking abuse of power” that “flies in the face of…our Constitution.”
He has also claimed that the ‘ideal’ family has a father and mother, a shockingly outdated view of families here in the United States and around the world.
Finally, the State Department plays a leading role in providing family planning assistance abroad. Under Mr. Pompeo, I fear the State Department will retreat from providing this vital assistance.
As a Member of the House, Mr. Pompeo repeatedly cosponsored legislation to limit a woman’s right to choose. Specifically, he supported bills to make abortion illegal nationwide, even in the case of rape.
He also repeatedly supported the ‘Global Gag Rule,’ known as the Mexico City policy, which restricts U.S. funds to any foreign health clinic that provides abortion services, even if it is legal in that country.
All too often rape is considered a weapon of war. Our global health programming should not be restricted in a manner that ignores this ugly reality.
The Secretary of State is charged with representing America’s values to the world and must be committed to exhausting all means of diplomacy to avoid conflict.
I don’t believe Mr. Pompeo can do that and shouldn’t be confirmed as Secretary of State. Therefore, I will vote no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”