Democrats in Congress wasted no time declaring Rex Tillerson’s firing a symptom of the “chaos” gripping the Trump administration.
“It is no wonder that the President has trouble attracting high-caliber people to his administration when he undercuts and humiliates those he supposedly respects,” said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. “President Trump’s actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin.”
Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) said Trump “has never understood the critical role that the State Department plays in defining our values and promoting our interests abroad, or in advancing our national security and keeping the American people safe.” Menendez was equally critical of Tillerson, charging him with letting the State Department fall into “disarray.”
Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) called Tillerson a “poor” secretary of state, but slammed Trump’s pick to replace him, CIA director Mike Pompeo, as well, saying Pompeo would contribute to our “weakened American diplomacy.”
“We should all be alarmed by his ouster because President Trump seems to want someone who does the same thing, only faster and while fawning over the president,” Murphy said.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said Tillerson’s firing is a sign of “chaos in policy,” but also cast doubt on Pompeo’s nomination.
Musical chairs is the Trump Administration’s professional pastime – who’s in, who’s out, who’s next. This churn undermines American national security.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 13, 2018
Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) did not hold back, calling the firing an effect of “contradictions, undercutting, clumsy, confusing, colossal cuts, chaos and inconsistencies.”
Senator Chris Coons (D., Del.) was gentler, saying he disagreed with Tillerson on a number of issues, but believes Trump should have given the former ExxonMobil CEO more trust as secretary of state.
Throughout his Administration, President Trump has not only turned away from our allies and weakened our commitments to international coalitions, but he has notably refused to address the real threats that we face from Russia.
— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) March 13, 2018
Coons echoed his colleagues’ conviction that the new secretary of state must stand up to the president on Russia.