(National Sentinel) Hypocrisy: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the highly unusual step of criticizing a sitting U.S. senator, Bob Menendez, D-N.J., for blocking diplomatic appointees after complaining all year that the White House wasn’t filling posts quickly enough.
Menendez, who is actually locked in a tight reelection race with a Republican candidate in a blue state, took to the Senate floor in March to claim the Trump administration was harming U.S. “national security” for failing “to nominate critical high-level positions—undersecretaries, assistant secretaries,” which was “leaving a void of empowered voices.”
The ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also blamed the administration for failing to appoint diplomats to the world’s “most troubled regions.”
“How can we possibly expect to assert American leadership and secure our interests with these posts unfilled, with no empowered individuals at the Department itself?” Menendez said at the time.
He began complaining publicly again this week — likely as a means of bolstering his campaign — in reaction to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement that she is resigning. Menendez argued that the administration’s “inability to adequately or appropriately fill key national security positions puts our nation at risk.”
Pompeo finally had enough.
In a press release on Wednesday, the secretary of state — who sparred with Menendez during his confirmation hearing, the Washington Free Beacon noted — Pompeo placed blame on Menendez and Senate Democrats for holding up POTUS Trump’s nominees.
“Today, there are more than 60 State Department nominees awaiting confirmation in the United States Senate. That’s more than a quarter of all the senior-level confirmable positions at the Department. These are excellent candidates, a mix of career Foreign Service Officers and political nominees. More than a dozen of these qualified political nominees are being held up by Senate Democrats because of politics,” Pompeo said.
“We’ve done our part at the State Department by putting forward a slate of candidates. It’s Senator Bob Menendez and his colleagues who have refused to vote on these nominees, putting our nation at risk,” he added.
“Yesterday, astonishingly and shamefully, Senator Menendez blamed the Administration for a lack of confirmed nominees when he said, ‘This Administration’s continued inability to adequately or appropriately fill key national security positions puts our nation at risk.’
“These outstanding candidates remain unconfirmed because Senator Menendez and some of his colleagues are using our nominees as a political football. This is unacceptable. The ‘risk’ to the nation lies at the feet of Senator Menendez,” Pompeo said, calling on the New Jersey Dem to stop his obstruction.
The best solution to Pompeo’s dilemma would be for New Jersey voters to toss Menendez out and replace him with a Republican who will work with POTUS and the SecState to get the diplomatic corps back up to speed.
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