Menendez, Ernst, Burr, Blunt, Corker

Executive Session (Pompeo Nomination)

Senator Menendez: (10:57 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Richard Grenell to be Ambassador to Germany.
    • "It would be my hope and desire that such an important ally as Germany the president would have put forward a serious, credible, experience diplomat who would strengthen our relationship with Germany. Instead President Trump nominated Mr. Grenell. In a few moments I will read things that Mr. Grenell has tweeted in the past and that he continues to tweet even as his nomination has been pending before this body. I do not savor having to read these tweets because, frankly, I don't think they are suitable to have to say on the floor of the Senate, but since the majority and the president have prioritized this nominee and the vote will occur a little later, the American people deserve to know exactly who the Trump administration wants to represent the United States to our great friend and ally Germany."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "I do want to say, though, in listening to the remarks of some of my colleagues this week, I was struck by how easily some characterized legitimate concerns about a nominee as a purely partisan act, and I was struck by suggestions that somehow Democrats have obstructed this nomination. Democrats on the foreign relations committee agreed to every request of the chairman in the process of considering this nomination. We held hearings on the date the chairman requested. We held the business meeting to vote on the nomination on the date the chairman requested. We sent the nomination to the floor. Yesterday we had an opportunity to debate the nomination here on the Senate floor. Today we will vote. That's not obstruction."


Senator Ernst: (11:37 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today in support of the president's nomination of Director Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state. Director Pompeo has a very long record of public service that has prepared him for this very, very important position. Let's start at the beginning. Director Pompeo was top of his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and he served honorably in the United States Army. He's also a graduate of Harvard Law School. In Congress, Director Pompeo was a leader on issues of national security and foreign relations, and then finally and most recently as director of the C.I.A., Director Pompeo has been a successful leader in the world's best intelligence profession to work and resolve some of our nation's most sensitive and difficult problems."


Senator Burr: (11:44 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to a member of his staff.
    • "He held a master's degree in strategic intelligence, mechanical engineering, and was close to completing his third master's degree. Matt had one of those jobs like many who serve on my committee that you just can't talk about very much. But that silence did not accurately reflect the value he brought to the Intelligence Committee. He filled a critical role. He was the majority staff member responsible for conducting oversight over the nation's overhead architecture. In layman's terms, he knew satellites. Matt knew a lot about satellites. He knew about what they were capable of and what they weren't capable of."


Senator Blunt: (11:52 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to a member of Senator Burr's staff.
    • "He loved his country, he loved his work. He understood the importance of protecting and advancing and defending who we are. The chairman just pointed out his real dedication to his son, and often Matt would come over to my office for just sort of a top-line indication of what we were going to be doing when we got to the Intel committee, and since you really can't talk about that until you get to the Intel committee, the sure way to get a good conversation going was just to say tell me about that son of yours."


Senator Corker: (11:59 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Us passing him out today will allow Director Pompeo, secretary of state Pompeo to be a participant in a meeting that needs to take place. I want to thank him for his cooperation and certainly his point of view. Let me offer a different point of view, though, as it relates to this nominee. I think he's one of the most outstanding nominees we could have for this position. I did not know him well when the process began. I knew he had done a very good job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But I have to tell you, through the process of him going through the confirmation hearings and the conversations we've had, the meetings we've had, I think he's going to be exemplary."