Commentary: Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), issued a statement urging Members of the U.S. Senate to reject President Trump’s controversial nominees to the State Department and CIA. President Trump announced his plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He also proposed nominating highly controversial CIA Deputy Director, Gina Haspel, as the new Director of the CIA:
“Instead of replacing failed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with someone with actual diplomatic experience, Trump is bringing in Mike Pompeo, his crony from the CIA, to rubber stamp every ill-informed decision he makes,” said Rep. Grijalva. “If that weren’t bad enough, his nomination of Gina Haspel, the Bush Era overseer of ‘enhanced interrogation’ programs, to head the CIA demonstrates his total disregard for basic human rights and American values.
At a time when we face increasingly complex global issues and crises, we should not reward anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant leaders like Pompeo with a cabinet position. While Trump takes a wrecking ball to our foreign policy values, we should not promote someone who knowingly oversaw and attempted to cover-up CIA torture programs like Haspel,” Rep. Grijalva continued. “Instead of uplifting Trump’s henchmen as leaders, we should strengthen our diplomacy initiatives with top talent who have the training and knowledge to spearhead foreign policy solutions that strengthen our country without compromising our values.”
“The President’s nominations of Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel to lead the State Department and the CIA, respectively, are extremely concerning and should raise deep concerns. Rather than select a Secretary of State who will be engaged diplomatically and oversee peace, President Trump has chosen a man who brags about how much conflict he would like to start. From being wrong on Iran, to stoking the flames of war throughout the Middle East, Mr. Pompeo’s desire to exacerbate tensions around the world will have serious consequences for American diplomacy and national security,” said Rep. Pocan. “Further, Ms. Haspel’s record at the CIA, where she oversaw the Bush Administration’s torture program at the agency’s secretive black sites should be an immediate nonstarter for her nomination. The CIA should be an organization that the world’s intelligence community can look to, not one that engages in shameful human rights violations.”
“Secretary Tillerson’s tenure at the State Department was a fiasco, but Mike Pompeo’s track record in the House and at the CIA raises serious red flags about his commitment to diplomacy and foreign development,” said Rep. Lee. “We need a seasoned expert leading the State Department, not a rubber stamp for President Trump’s military-first foreign policy agenda. Additionally, I am appalled by the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director. Her role as an architect of the Bush Administration’s illegal torture program should disqualify her from serving in this critical position. Our CIA Director should respect human rights and international law.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.