Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement opposing the nominations of Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel for Secretary of State and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):
“I strongly oppose the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, and the nomination of Gina Haspel for director of the CIA. Both of these nominees pose substantial dangers to our national security and our standing with our allies abroad. Director Pompeo's belligerent approach to world affairs, views on Islam, and vocal opposition to a coherent policy that integrates diplomacy, development, and defense render him unfit for that role. Gina Haspel's track record on interrogation and detention is deeply concerning. Her elevation to CIA director would send the wrong message about American values, and I am worried about the advice they would give to this President.
“Under the direction of Secretary Tillerson, the State Department has badly atrophied. Key positions remain unfilled as the ‘reorganization’ process has crumbled. The next Secretary of State must fully support the absolutely essential work done by our diplomatic corps overseas, and be a staunch advocate for strongly funding the State Department's missions. The recent departures from this Administration, including that of H.R. McMaster, suggest a massive erosion of mediating forces within the Trump Presidency. We do not need to stumble needlessly into another conflict. As new, more hawkish voices gain influence in this Administration, it is more critical than ever that Congress exert strong oversight over U.S. military activity overseas.”