Senator Markey on Firing of Secretary of State Tillerson: Chaos When We Need Consistency
State Department further sidelined as it embarks on preparations for meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
Boston (March 13, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. President Trump announced the departure in a tweet: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”
Earlier this month, Senator Markey called on the State Department to explain how it is able to implement North Korea-related diplomatic and sanctions enforcement efforts in light of drastic budget cuts, high-level position eliminations, and staffing reassignments.
“By firing Rex Tillerson, President Trump is throwing the State Department into chaos when we need consistency.
“The United States is poised to embark on a crucial diplomatic effort with North Korea. We continue to address ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the rise of extremists around the globe. A resurgent Russia and emerging China will test the global order bringing peace and prosperity that the United States helped to build.
“The State Department has already been badly depleted of both resources and staff by the Trump administration and is consistently ignored in the opaque process the White House is using to try and conduct American foreign policy. President Trump has stifled dissent, ignored experience, and politicized key diplomatic and national security agencies.
“President Trump cannot simply dismiss a dissenting voice in favor of one more inclined simply to tell him ‘yes.’ Politicizing the position of America’s chief diplomat is dangerous and only serves to undermine America’s credibility with allies, partners, and adversaries alike around the world.
“President Trump can nominate whomever he chooses for his cabinet, but the Constitution requires the Senate to confirm any nominee. To ensure that Director Pompeo is serving America’s interests and not just President Trump’s, he will be subject to the highest level of scrutiny during his nomination process.”