Truman Project Statement on the Ouster and Replacement of Secretary of State Tillerson

Washington, DC – In response to reports that President Trump will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Truman Project President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

“Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson often failed to represent the values of the United States on the world stage; he was often slow to react, questioned our most critical alliances and international institutions, and did serious damage in his budgetary cuts to and mismanagement of the Department of State. He did, however, speak out against Vladimir Putin’s Russia in an administration otherwise incapable of doing so. Given that the Trump Administration says he was fired on Friday, perhaps that is why he felt he could break with the president and stand with the United Kingdom last night in condemning Moscow for the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal.”

“Director Pompeo has no requisite experience for the position of Secretary of State, and his track record thus far indicates he will be of little help in containing the president's basest instincts for boorish and dangerous behavior on the world stage—indeed, he seems likely to exacerbate them. In his short tenure as leader of the CIA, Director Pompeo has so far publicly doubted the U.S. intelligence community's clear and unanimous judgment that Vladimir Putin's regime meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, met with conspiracy theorists at President Trump's behest, and allowed the politicization of intelligence in this administration's quest to escalate tensions with Iran.”

“Truman National Security Project intends to follow the lead-up to Director Pompeo’s confirmation hearing closely, where he must face responsible, serious questions on Russia, North Korea, Iran, and other topics integral to U.S. national security. Based on his public record thus far, however, there is cause for serious skepticism about his appropriateness for the role. Moreover, we remain gravely concerned about the Trump Administration’s continued degradation of the U.S. Department of State, as well as the continuing departures of qualified diplomatic personnel from our civil service.”