WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement announcing his opposition to Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State:
“I have decided to oppose the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. I honor his public service and voted for him to be CIA Director. But in scrutinizing his nomination to be America’s principal diplomat, I cannot overlook grave doubts about his anti-diplomacy disposition.
“Many opposed the Iran nuclear deal when President Obama was negotiating it. Mike Pompeo stands out for both criticizing the deal and painting an unrealistic scenario about the relative ease of destroying Iran’s nuclear capacity through a bombing campaign. Many view the current governments of Iran and North Korea as dangerous. Mike Pompeo stands out in advocating U.S. action to change out the governments of those countries.
“Congressman Mike Pompeo insisted that President Obama not commit the U.S. military to action in Libya and Syria without a vote of Congress. But nominee Mike Pompeo was plain in supporting President Trump’s ability to take near identical military action in Syria without Congressional approval.
“President Trump has demonstrated a general contempt for diplomacy by leaving key ambassadorial positions vacant, by proposing to slash our diplomacy and aid budget, by withdrawing from international agreements and organizations, and through his juvenile name-calling of foreign leaders. He has also shown a hostility to the role of Congress in carrying out its constitutional role to initiate war. This has been shown once again in the recent Syrian airstrikes which were taken without Congressional approval.
“Now more than ever, we need a Secretary of State who will stand strong for vigorous U.S. diplomacy. I believe that Mike Pompeo would exacerbate President Trump’s weaknesses rather than uphold our diplomatic legacy. For this reason, I will vote against his nomination.”