Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Vice President for National Security and International Policy Vikram Singh issued the following statement regarding the decision to appoint Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) as director of the Central Intelligence Agency:
The nomination of Rep. Pompeo as director of the CIA is yet another sign that President-elect Donald Trump is hell-bent on assembling the most incompetent, conspiratorial, and ill-advised national security team in memory.
We call on Congress to reject this nomination.
Rep. Pompeo has repeatedly indulged in anti-Muslim rhetoric and insinuations and views American Muslims not as fellow citizens but as threats. In 2010, Rep. Pompeo’s congressional campaign tweeted out an article attacking his opponent, former Kansas State Rep. Raj Goyle (D), as a “turban topper” who “could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist etc who knows.” His tweet called the article a “good read.”
After the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, Rep. Pompeo held American Muslim clerics and faith leaders collectively responsible for terrorism. Despite the fact that faith leaders had widely condemned the attacks, Pompeo alleged, “Their silence has made most Islamic leaders across America complicit in these acts.” Given this perspective, it is striking that Pompeo has not disavowed white nationalism or spoken out against the role of well-known white nationalist Steve Bannon in the Trump administration.
Rep. Pompeo has appeared on the radio show of notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, where he agreed with Gaffney’s statement that President Barack Obama holds “kind of an affinity for, if not the violent beheading and crucifixions and slaying of Christians and all that, but at least for the cause for which these guys are engaged in such activities.”
In December 2015, Rep. Pompeo claimed there are “dozens and dozens of investigations of radical Islamic terrorists in Kansas today.” In fact, the only terror plot to be foiled in Kansas over the last year came from white supremacists
Our most important intelligence agency should not be led by someone consumed by racist conspiracy theories. We urge members of the Senate and leaders of both parties to reject Rep. Pompeo’s nomination.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at gro.ssergorpnacirema@azzaiact or 202.481.7141.