An argument between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republicans over confirming Trump’s pick for CIA Director got very contentious…
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) broke his word when he promised Republicans a confirmation vote last week for President Trump’s CIA Director pick, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).
At issue was a promise from Minority Leader Schumer that the Senate Intelligence Committee would vote on Pompeo’s nomination on Friday just hours after Trump was sworn in as president. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the ranking member of that committee, announced the day before that he would delay the vote.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) reportedly confronted Schumer over his broken promise. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes has the incredible details:
The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. “We need to take this out into the hallway,” Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. “Don’t tell me to lower my voice!” he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. Burr and Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.
Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. “Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,” Cotton snapped. “So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.”
Cotton asked Schumer why he’d gone back on his word. Schumer claimed that he’d only been speaking for himself when he promised to let Pompeo through. “I said that I would not block him,” Schumer said, emphasizing the personal pronoun, according to sources who witnessed the exchange. “I never said that I could speak for 47 other Democrats.”
The episode doesn’t bode well for working relations between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. One Republican senator, Richard Burr of North Carolina, said of taking Schumer at his word: “I won’t make that mistake again.”
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