***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Asks Which Pompeo He’s Voting On

***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Asks Which Pompeo He’s Voting On

“The Pompeo I hear today [is] much more different than the Pompeo of the past... I’m trying to figure out which is the one that is going to act if he gets confirmed as the Secretary of State.”

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today pressed Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo after he contradicted himself on a number of issues during his 4.5 hour testimony before the committee. Menendez also raised Pompeo’s hard-line views on issues such as LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, torture, and his previous anti-Muslim statements. 

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Below is a transcript of Senator Menendez’s remarks: 

You know, as we close here, I am trying to think about which Mike Pompeo I will be asked to vote on. Is it the one that today said the solution to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is through diplomacy? To which I would agree. Or is it the one who said the only way to do that, “in my judgement, is regime change,” in a speech of 2015.

Is it the one that said “I’ve never advocated for regime change” here today? Or is it the one that said “should Mr. Kim vanish, given the history of the CIA, I’m just not going to talk about it …. The most important thing we can do is separate those two, right? Separate capacity and someone who might well have intent, and break those two.”

Is it the one that says the historic conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, and now Russia, is caused by Russian bad behavior? To which I agree. Or is it the one that stood alongside the President when he said that “much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the fake and corrupt Russia investigation, headed by all Democratic loyalists or people that worked for Obama.”

Is it the Mike Pompeo who said in his 2013 speech that the failure of Muslim leaders to repudiate acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam make them “potentially complicit” in these attacks and that this alleged behavior “cast doubt upon the commitment to peace among adherents of the Muslim faith.”

Is it the one that in 2010 in a congressional campaign tweeted out to your supporters an article calling your opponent – an American of South Asian heritage – a “turban topper,” stating that you thought it was “a good read.” An article that you tweeted that said your opponent “could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist – who knows?”

Or, as a member of Congress, when you cosponsored legislation that sought to slow the spread of marriage equality. When the Supreme Court endorsed marriage equality in 2015 – the highest court in the land – you said “it’s a shocking abuse of power, flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our constitution.”

You cosponsored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Called Roe vs. Wade one of the worst decisions of the Supreme Court. Voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that funds programs designed to help victims of violence, that passed annually since 1994. And on, and on.

So the Pompeo I hear today – much more different than some of the Pompeo of the past. And so I’m trying to figure out which is the one that is going to act if he gets confirmed as the Secretary of State. Because some of these things of the past, I could never support. Some of the things you’ve said here today, I could actually be supportive of. So I hope you can help me understand this as we move forward in your nomination. 

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