WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State.
“President Trump’s executive order to ban Syrian refugees and halt immigration from several Muslim countries made us less safe, betrayed our values and sent a message of mistrust to our allies around the globe. Over the weekend, the world watched in real time as U.S. officials struggled to comply with the new rules and thousands of people protested in fury. This ill-informed, poorly executed policy put Americans’ safety at risk, and it has given our allies a reason to feel less confident about the United States.
“During his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson was unable to unequivocally close the door on a Muslim ban, as well as other questionable policies. Between President Trump’s unconscionable executive order, his alarming rhetoric on torture, his feud with Mexico’s president, and his cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin, I ask myself whether Mr. Tillerson is able to stand up to President Trump and his reckless assaults on our values and his casual dismissal of longstanding U.S. allies. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need a leader at the State Department who will reassure our allies of America’s commitment to democracy and humanitarianism, and instill a sense of confidence in the department’s employees. I am not confident that Mr. Tillerson is that person, and I cannot support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State.
“I don’t say that lightly. Mr. Tillerson is a man of faith who has led a successful business. Unfortunately, during his hearing, he did not demonstrate that he had the breadth of knowledge necessary to be America’s top diplomat. Given President Trump’s woeful lack of experience on this front, not to mention a questionable temperament, our next Secretary of State simply cannot learn on the job. I hope I am wrong and that Mr. Tillerson becomes a strong voice in the Trump Administration to maintain and uphold our values across the globe.”