Top Democrat questions aid agency's culture as nominee faces hearing

Top Democrat questions aid agency's culture as nominee faces hearing

By:  Andrew Dunn


Washington (CNN)- Citing a bizarre speech on diversity from one of Millennium Challenge Corporation's leaders, a top Democrat raised concerns over the federal aid agency's culture as the Trump administration's nominee prepares for a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, highlighted these issues in a letter dated February 23 to the acting leader of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a small federal government aid agency established 2004.

"As part of this review process, it has come to my attention that a current member of Millennium Challenge Corporation's senior political leadership has made a number of concerning statements and remarks to staff that call into question the MCC's commitment to an open and diverse workplace and an acceptable code of conduct," Menendez wrote.

Menendez's letter singles out Robert Blau, the organization's vice president of compact operations, for statements at a company town hall last June. Blau made "a number of troubling comments that raise questions about his approach to and treatment of employees based on their political leanings, sexual orientation, and national origin," Menendez wrote.

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