White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday sent a message to Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who “hate this president” and who plan to oppose Mike Pompeo’s appointment as secretary of state.
“Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this President,” Sanders told “Fox and Friends” co-hosts on Monday. “And they have to decide that they want to put the safety and the security and the diplomacy of our country ahead of their own political game. And we are very hopeful that they will.”
Key Democrats on the foreign relations committee have indicated their opposition to Pompeo’s nomination, even Democrats who voted in favor of Pompeo’s appointment to run the CIA last year. But Democrats aren’t alone in their opposition. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has said that he will vote against Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state, claiming the appointment goes against central policies that Trump campaigned on. Paul was also the only Republican who voted against Pompeo’s appointment to lead the CIA.
Sanders argued that partisan politics were getting in the way of the security of the country and pointed to Republicans who had “come on board” in the past to support the nominations of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
“If you just look at history, the past secretary of states have been confirmed unanimously,” she said. “Republicans have come on board and supported Hillary Clinton, John Kerry. People we know they didn’t necessarily agree with on the political spectrum. They knew how important this position was and they didn’t play games with it and Democrats need to do the same thing with Mike Pompeo and confirm him.”
Trump echoed Sanders’ thoughts in a tweet later Monday morning, calling Democrats “obstructionists” and claiming there need to be “more Republicans!” in Congress.
Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2018
While the Senate foreign relations committee may not have the votes it needs to approve Pompeo, the Senate is still expected to consider Pompeo’s nomination later on this week.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 23, 2018