Pentagon nominee hearing canceled amid senators ‘serious questions’

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The majority of armed service democrats opposed the Tatas. The panel’s top Democrat, Jack Reid of Rhode Island, praised the decision to cancel Thursday’s hearing.

“We are a bipartisan committee. It is fair to say that members of both sides of the Isle have raised serious questions about this nominee, “Reid said in a statement. We had a closed-door session on Tuesday and today’s public hearing was canceled. is.”

“Speaker Inhofe did the right thing here, and it is clear that this nomination is not going anywhere without a full, fair, open hearing,” rejoined.

Tata, a retired army brigadier general and Fox News regular, was expected to have no hearing. Just a few days after he was formally nominated in June, CNN reported that in 2018, Tata called Obama a “terrorist leader” and called Islam the “most repressive violent religion” in a now-deleted tweet. .

Tata also overtook House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) on Twitter. And he shared an article that promoted a conspiracy theory that Obama was a “Manchurian candidate,” among other tweets that Democrats have released.

The dispute did not come at a bad time for the Pentagon. If confirmed, Tata would occupy the Pentagon’s policy shop as a military grape with racial issues in the wake of nationwide protests.

As the Trump administration pushed to ratify the Tatas, military leaders are taking steps to increase diversity and more respect in the ranks. Defense Secretary Mark Oler is walking a fine line between President Donald Trump and his own ranks, including issuing a policy that effectively prohibits public displays of the Confederate flag.

“Based on his tweet and what he has been told about it, he seems to be on the other side of that metric,” said a person with knowledge of how to get Tata through the confirmation process. “His nomination [comes] At a time when the entire department is moving in a different direction. “

Amid the controversy, Tata tried to retract his remarks. In a letter to Inhofe and Reid, Tata expressed regret for the tweet and called his comments “completely out of character” and an “insult” in his long career.

Democrats are not convinced. Ten Senate Democrats sent a letter to Tata this week calling for the withdrawal from the confirmation process.

“Designated people should see the value diversity, inclusion and unity in our institutions,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, your history of public comments does not meet this standard.”

Kevin Kramer of North Dakota, a Republican, has warned that he may oppose the Tatas, though not for the reasons that Democrats want to cancel his nomination. Kramer, a Trump aide, is supporting the Pentagon to add the names of 9 sailors who destroyed the USS Frank E. in 1979. The rider was killed at the Veterans Memorial in Vietnam, and has threatened to oppose the Tata gains.

The committee has 27 members – 14 Republicans and 13 Democrats. If all Democrats oppose the Tatas, only one GOP senator will be required to break ranks to confirm them.

Tata is working as a senior consultant at the Pentagon. Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on Thursday that Tata would remain in that role.

The Trump administration has, however, installed him in a separate role of the Pentagon on the basis of acting to close a confirmation fight in the Senate.

The Senate would be short on time to confirm Tata if the Armed Services decided to consider it after the August holiday. It is scheduled to be in session for just 22 days in September and October before the election. A significant portion of that time will likely be devoted to passing money legislation to avoid government shutdowns and to compromise defense policy legislation.

Tata’s background as a career military officer and Trump’s defense at Fox – supporting Trump’s actions on the border and Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer’s firing also included dealing with the war crimes case of former Navy SEL Eddie Gallagher – a question for senators whether he qualified for one of the Pentagon’s top civilian jobs.

“He doesn’t fit the pattern of previous USDP nominations in Republican or Democratic administrations – individuals whose entire careers are in the field that people know and respect,” said a person with knowledge of Tata’s confirmation process.

According to a report by the North Carolina-based News & Observer, Tata retired from the military in 2009 after a general investigation by an inspector found that he had an extramarital affair with “at least two” women in his career. It involved three cases and a son who was born with deadlock.

If confirmed, Tata would have replaced John Rood, who was forced to head the policy of the Pentagon in February amid allegations he was insufficiently loyal to Trump.

Lara Seligman contributed to this report.

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