A new controversy with President Donald Trump has come to light.
As POLITICO reports:
A half dozen Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee will oppose Anthony Tata, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Pentagon policy chief, amid scrutiny over past tweets calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”
The shot across the bow, led by ranking Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island, just days after Tata was officially nominated spells trouble for his nomination for undersecretary for policy.
“Senator Reed’s preference is to wait for the hearing process before commenting on nominees,” Chip Unruh, Reed’s press secretary told. “But in this case there are real warning signs flashing and if this nomination moves forward, Senator Reed will oppose it.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a frequent critic of Trump and his appointees, quickly joined Reed in denouncing Tata on Monday. “An Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who called President Obama a ‘terrorist leader’ should not be #3 at the Pentagon. [Anthony] Tata is by far Trump’s most unqualified & ill-suited senior defense nominee — a high bar. Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans shouldn’t even give him a hearing.”
Four additional Armed Services Democrats came out against Tata’s nomination on Monday. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut and Michigan’s Gary Peters as well.
“Not only would Mr. Tata be the least-qualified individual ever confirmed for this position, but his long history of making Islamophobic remarks and of pushing dangerous and debunked conspiracy theories on Fox News make him completely unacceptable,” Sen. Gillibrand stated.”Mr. Tata would further enable President Trump’s destabilizing tendencies and would represent a dangerous erosion of independence and accountability at the Pentagon.”
Senator Blumenthal said, “Anthony Tata’s nomination is a disgrace. His bigoted, Islamophobic conspiracy-theory-ridden record makes him unequivocally unfit to serve in this role. His nomination should be immediately withdrawn.”
In a statement, Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) didn’t commit to supporting or opposing Tata but pledged to thoroughly weigh the nomination. “With all that’s going on around the world — especially as China and Russia act out — the National Defense Strategy is as important as ever,” he argued. “That’s why it’s so important to have well-qualified individuals leading the Pentagon. I look forward to reviewing this nomination closely.” No Senate Republicans have publicly opposed him so far.