In a brutal take-down, Senator Cory Booker exposes CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s faith-based extremism during his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State.
It has long been established that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee to be the next Secretary of State, is a dangerous Christian extremist who has in the past expressed hatred and bigotry towards gays, Muslims, and others found wanting by conservative Christians.
During the confirmation hearing earlier today Senator Cory Booker asked Pompeo about his deplorable record when it comes to his religious prejudice. In particular, Booker asked about Pompeo’s documented record of making derogatory and hateful statements towards gays and Muslims.
Concerning Muslims Booker focused on Pompeo’s support for “two of America’s most prominent Islamophobes, Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, and asked whether Pompeo had ever used his “position” to denounce their extremist views.”
The following is an excerpt of the exchange via Vox:
BOOKER: I’m wondering, Sir — do you know Frank Gaffney?
POMPEO: Yes, I do.
BOOKER: And you’ve been on his show dozens of times?
POMPEO: I was on his show some, yes.
BOOKER: I have here over 20 times. And he has talked about [how] Muslims who abide by the adherence of the faith should be considered to be tried for acts of sedition and prosecuted. I have a lot of his statements. Did you remain silent — and, from my notes at least, you’re a friend of his — were you silent in your position of authority in these words that devalue the American constitution?
POMPEO: Sir, my record on this is unambiguous …
BOOKER: If that’s your response, you did not say anything to call out his remarks. What about Brigitte Gabriel. Do you know her?
POMPEO: I do.
BOOKER: Someone who runs an organization that has been considered a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Were you silent? Did you ever call her out on her remarks that are hateful or bigoted?
POMPEO: Senator, I’ve spoken to a number of groups, and I believe my record with respect to tolerance and the equal treatment of people, I think it …
BOOKER: But, yes or no, did you ever call her out?
POMPEO: Senator, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t recall each statement I’ve made over 54 years.
BOOKER: Okay, well, I believe this special obligation that you talk about for Americans to condemn things that for attacking our Constitution or ideals would obligate you under your own definition to speak out.
The significance of asking Pompeo if he spoke out against his friends, Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, for promoting hate against Muslims is that previously Pompeo had condemned Muslims for not speaking out forcefully enough against Islamic terrorism. By asking the question, Booker was exposing Pompeo’s hypocrisy.
For example, in the months after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Pompeo took to the House floor to call on Muslim leaders to denounce acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, declaring:
It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening.
In fact Pompeo has been a shrill and sharp critic of Islam in the past. Indeed, Pompeo has even gone so far as to endorse the notion of a “Holy War” between Christians and Muslims, and believes the fight against terrorism is a war between Islam and Christianity.Speaking at a church group in Wichita, Kansas, in 2014, Pompeo claimed that Christianity was the “only solution” to combat terrorism, arguing that the greatest “threat to America” is caused by “people who deeply believe that Islam is the way.”
Pompeo told the church-goers:
This threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer.
These folks believe that it is religiously driven for them to wipe Christians from the face of the earth.
Noting that “these folks” constitute a small minority among Muslims, Pompeo continued:
They abhor Christians, and will continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ our savior is truly the only solution for our world.
In addition, at an event hosted by a Virginia-based think in 2015, Pompeo again invoked the notion of a Holy War, describing the wars in which the U.S. is involved in as being “between the Christian West and the Islamic East.”
Cory Booker Grills Pompeo On Gay Rights
Towards the end of his time Booker also asked Pompeo about his views concerning gays.
Is being gay a perversion?
Pompeo said that he stands by his previous position that gay people should not be allowed to marry.
Booker continued to press Pompeo:
Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion? Yes or no?
I’m going to give you the same answer I gave you previously. My respect for every individual…is the same.
Commenting on the Pompeo nomination, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said:
Mike Pompeo’s longstanding opposition to LGBTQ equality makes him a reckless choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts. The decision to nominate anti-LGBTQ Mike Pompeo could have serious consequences for the United States and LGBTQ people around the globe. The State Department has a crucial role to play in advancing human rights — a role which was already rapidly declining under Tillerson. This decision has the potential to make a dire situation even worse. Pompeo does not deserve to be confirmed.
Pompeo’s attacks on LGBTQ equality are long and well-documented: he opposes marriage equality, and, as a member of Congress, co-sponsored legislation to allow states to not recognize same-sex marriage and to allow businesses and organizations using taxpayer dollars a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Equally as troubling, his political career has been funded by anti-LGBTQ hate groups, including the Family Research Council.
Bottom line: CIA Director Mike Pompeo is a dangerous Christian extremist and should not be confirmed as Secretary of State. His Holy War mentality is alarming, and his open contempt for LGBT people is deplorable. Finally, any man who claims that “Jesus Christ our savior is truly the only solution for our world” is simply not fit to serve in any significant foreign policy capacity.
Watch the entire exchange between Booker and Pompeo below –