Schumer, Tillis, Menendez

Executive Session (Pompeo Nomination)

Senator Schumer: (12:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "He is obviously well informed about foreign policy, far more well informed than Secretary Tillerson was when he came before - when he came to visit me before his nomination hearing. And what particularly gave me some good feeling was that Mr. Pompeo was particularly strong on Russia sanctions, even showing some separation from the president as we met. So I began to think that Mr. Pompeo was better than my first impression, which has so been guided particularly by his performance, his very poor performance in the Benghazi hearings. Then he was nominated for secretary of state. Now, that's a whole different ballgame. Anyone nominated for such a critical position, security position, deserves the most careful and thoughtful scrutiny."


Senator Tillis: (12:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "I come here for the first time in what will be a weekly speech that I will give as long as we have somebody, in my opinion, who is improperly and unjustly being held in a Turkish prison. As a matter of fact, this man, Pastor Brunson has been in a Turkish prison for 565 days. He was arrested in October of 2016. He didn't even receive charges until two months. So arrested without charges, a conspiracy to plot a coup attempt by the president of Turkey. He, about a month ago, maybe about two or three months back, I heard from some people that Pastor Brunson was afraid with the charges levied against him, that the American people would read the charges and forget about him and turn his back."


Senator Menendez: (12:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Unfortunately during his nomination process where he had an opportunity to address all of these concerns, Director Pompeo offered contradictory statements and was less than forthcoming when pressed on a number of issues. Given the opportunity to outline the strategies he would advocate with the administration to deal with the challenges of Russia, Iran, North Korea, China or Venezuela, to mention a few, he failed to exhibit the depth of knowledge or thoughtfulness about what those strategies would be. Now granted, he's under the constraints of this administration which has failed to offer a strategic vision for American diplomacy, a White House which has failed to effectively outline policies or strategies to achieve a series of ever changing goals and objectives. But I expect our chief diplomat to have a vision for diplomacy. A meeting is not a strategy. Airstrikes are not a strategy."