If no action is predictable in the Trump administration, almost every reaction outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. can be seen coming from miles away. No psychic powers were needed to predict the hype and hand-wringing that has occurred since President Trump announced nomination of current CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson at the State Department
In today’s heated, partisan climate, the political attacks are predictable and many expect Democrats and their outside allies will do their best to undermine and radicalize Pompeo’s views despite the fact just over a year ago he won Senate confirmation as CIA Director by a 66-32 margin.
It certainly is the case the Kansas Republican’s views on issues such as refugee and foreign policy are more in line with the president’s than Tillerson, but well within the mainstream.
For example, when he was a legislator in the House, he was joined by a majority of the Republican caucus in writing a letter to President Obama in the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris to demand a halt in admissions of Syrians and Iraqis until a proper and thorough vetting system was implemented.
In 2016, Pompeo also criticized “dangerous changes” to the nation’s visa waiver program, made by the Obama administration, “that prioritize the business interests of Iran — the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism — over the safety of the American people.”
He also co-sponsored several bills to strengthen the refugee and immigrant admittance process, including the H.R.3314, Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015, which aimed to prohibit the admission of refugees into the U.S. until Congress passed a joint resolution giving the Department of Homeland Security authority to resume admitting refugees.
And one could hardly consider it a radical position to support the Expatriate Terrorist Ac, which proposed amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to make taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization grounds for the loss of U.S. nationality by a native-born or naturalized citizen.
Those stances have drawn the ire of open-borders advocates who may attempt to brand Pompeo as “anti-Muslim” and “anti-immigrant,” rather than engaging in meaningful debate on important national security issues.
Pompeo survived the political punches in his first Senate confirmation hearings and no doubt the hits will keep coming. The question to be answered soon is whether they are enough to send Pompeo to the mat.