CIA Director Mike Pompeo grilled on his racist remarks

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Mike Pompeo, CIA Director

Obbana Rajah

The nomination of Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director, for the US secretary of state post was on Wednesday opposed by Democrats as they raked up his remarks on Indians, Muslims and other ethnic minorities, according to the Hindustan Times.

“These concerns are beyond policy disagreements, which alone are not a basis for rejecting a nominee,” Senator Robert Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on the Senate floor as Senators debated on the Secretary of State nomination of Pompeo.

Pompeo was among those running to be US secretary of state. However, when his nomination came up, many opposed because of his insensitive and offensive remarks towards other racial and religious minorities.

When Pompeo’s nomination was debated, he was still given a chance to take back his prior statements about minority groups such as Muslims, Indian Americans and women’s rights, however, he refused.

To this, Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader said, “I gave Mr Pompeo the benefit of the doubt and three chances to answer the questions that I thought were extremely important and assuage my broader concerns about his nomination, and [he] did not answer those questions in any way that was satisfying. So, with a clear conscience, I will be voting against his nomination”.

The Hindustan Times also reported that Democrat Senator Robert Menendez added, “When the President wants to call Mexicans drug-traffickers and rapists, as our nation’s top diplomat – who during his confirmation hearing insisted his ‘record is ‘exquisite with respect to treating people of each and every faith with the dignity they deserve’ – would Mr Pompeo advise the President not to? Or would it be the Pompeo who once called a political opponent a ‘turban-topper’ prevail?”

Menendez was making reference to a tweet that Pompeo’s campaign made in 2010 against his Indian-American political opponent Raj Goyale.

His campaign tweeted “good read” a link to a blog that described Goyale as a “turban topper” who “could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist etc who knows”.

Update: Just hours ago, Mike Pompeo was sworn in as US Secretary of State.


obbana@theindependent.sg