04.26.18

Peters Floor Remarks in Opposition to Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo

Peters: “This is a time when skilled and experienced diplomacy is essential to advance our interests and our values on the world stage. I do not believe that Director Pompeo has the necessary experience, diplomatic skills, and values required to be Secretary of State.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition of Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State. Below is video and text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

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“I rise to oppose the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.

“I voted against confirming Mike Pompeo to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency because he lacked the experience and qualifications for the position. His time at the CIA has done nothing to assure me that he now has the capabilities to lead the State Department.

“As a member of the House of Representatives, Mike Pompeo made discriminatory remarks about Muslim Americans. He argued that that Musllim American leaders had a, and I quote, ‘special obligation’ to denounce terrorist attacks and falsely claiming they had failed to do so.

“I’m proud to represent dynamic Muslim and Arab American communities in Michigan. I have seen that these patriotic communities are the first to denounce senseless violence that perverts the Islamic faith, a burden that we do not seem to place on other Americans when white supremacists commit acts of violence and terrorism.

“Mike Pompeo also has close ties to a group that is a Southern Poverty Law Center ‘Designated Hate Group’ because of its anti-Muslim rhetoric and conspiracy theories. I seriously question the judgement of an elected official who would work with such a group and I do not believe it shows the type of character required in the individual nominated to be our top diplomat. How can someone with this attitude work effectively with our allies and partners in the Middle East?

“Mike Pompeo has supported bringing back waterboarding and other torture measures that do nothing to keep America safe and go against what we stand for as a country. We now have a President who has said he believes that torture, and I quote, ‘absolutely’ works. We are better than this. America is better than this.

“I’ve voted to ban the use of waterboarding and other so-called ‘enhanced interrogation measures’ because they undermine our nation’s counterterrorism missions, violate basic human rights and place our own servicemembers at risk. Confirming a Secretary of State that has condoned torture is just another step in our nation’s current retreat from being what President Reagan called ‘a shining city on a hill.’

“I am also concerned that Mike Pompeo will continue the United States’ retreat from a leadership role in addressing climate change, an existential moral and economic issue that will impact the planet for generations to come. Director Pompeo has criticized the Paris climate agreement and made statements that contradict the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change that show he is not fit to internationally represent the United States on such an important issue.

“Our nation faces serious global challenges: Russian aggression, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, instability in the Middle East, and China’s ongoing efforts to expand their power and influence. The world is looking to the United States for leadership.

“This is a time when skilled and experienced diplomacy is essential to advance our interests and our values on the world stage. I do not believe that Director Pompeo has the necessary experience, diplomatic skills, and values required to be Secretary of State, and I will oppose his nomination this afternoon.”