The president has long established his tendency to shuffle his staff as he sees fit, with his administration falling prey to a metaphorical revolving door that has facilitated a sky high senior staff turnover rate. One of the recent high level Trump administration members to be pushed out of the job is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom the president has nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace.
Although in the past, the president has proceeded relatively unimpeded with his staffing efforts, this time around he’s not so set up for victory. GOP U.S. Senator John McCain is absent from Congress at present, and Kentucky’s GOP Senator Rand Paul is opposed to Pompeo’s nomination, so Republicans have found themselves with only 49 apparent “yes” votes for the president’s Secretary of State pick.
It’s hardly a given that any one Democrat will jump the fence, so to speak, and support Pompeo; even though a number of members of the Democratic conference supported him after the president nominated him to serve as CIA Director, a number of those who did so have already expressed their opposition to Pompeo leading the Department of State.
Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly, Maggie Hassan, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Charles Schumer, and Mark Warner all supported Pompeo during his bid to become CIA Director and had yet, as of early Thursday, to say whether or not they would support him during his bid to be Secretary of State. The same goes for Maine’s Independent Senator Angus King, who conferences with the Democrats.
On the other side of the conference, some Democrats have come out with their ardent opposition to Pompeo’s nomination. One Senator to have done so is Rhode Island’s Jack Reed, who commented:
‘America needs an experienced diplomat with a strong voice who will serve as a check on an impulsive, inexperienced president and undertake a sustained effort to rebuild the State Department and restore the morale of its dedicated public servants.’
As he mentioned, the State Department could use a “rebuilding” in the wake of the “leadership” of Trump’s first Secretary of State, former oil exec Rex Tillerson. Tillerson was hated inside the State Department in part on account of his efforts to drastically thin its workforce.
Even still, there are some Democrats who as of early Thursday had yet to decide if they would go along with their party’s newfound power and block the president’s newest pick to be Secretary of State.
The president has certainly made his thoughts on the matter known, apparently cognizant of the difficulties Pompeo is facing and rushing to tweet an angry Twitter message insisting that Democrats support his nominees.
Thursday night, Trump wrote, in part:
‘Democrats are obstructing good (hopefully great) people wanting to give up a big portion of their life to work for our Government, hence, the American People… Mike Pompeo is outstanding… We need the Senate to approve Mike ASAP. He will be a great Secretary of State!’
The issues the president and his nominees are currently facing could be a foreshadowing of things to come if Democrats take back the Senate after the midterm elections later this year.
Featured Image via Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images