This post was originally published on The Hill - Senate NewsAdd to Favorites
Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJustice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America’s interest Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters MORE (D-N.J.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE‘s decision to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the latest sign of chaos within the Trump administration, blasting the president as 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. President Trump has demonstrated yet again that he is the Commander-in-Chaos,” Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.
Menendez called Tillerson’s leadership at the State Department “misguided,” accusing him of leaving the agency in “disarray.”
The New Jersey Democrat’s comments came shortly after Trump announced that he would replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling Intel agencies to brief officials from all 50 states on election threats Russia probe complicating House hearing on threats facing US: report MORE.
The abrupt announcement brought to an end Tillerson’s tumultuous tenure at the State Department that was, at times, characterized by clashes with Trump over key policies and priorities.
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyLawmakers feel pressure on guns Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting MORE (D-Conn.), another member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also accused Tillerson of being a “poor” secretary of State. But he took a dim view of Pompeo’s nomination, saying that the CIA director would only exacerbate what he called a “weakened American diplomacy.”
“We should all be alarmed by his ouster because President Trump seems to want someone who does the same thing, only faster and while fawning over the president,” Murphy said.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump highlighted disagreements with Tillerson on key policy issues, particularly the Iran nuclear deal. By contrast, he said, he and Pompeo are “always on the same wavelength.”