Editor’s note: See update below.
President Donald Trump’s pick to become the next Secretary of State is in trouble. Right now, thanks to a Senator from New Hampshire, Mike Pompeo may not have enough votes to be confirmed.
During his bombshell confirmation hearing last week CIA Director Pompeo revealed not only is he opposed to same-sex marriage for religious reasons, he refused to say if he believes sex between, say, a happily married same-sex couple, is “perversion.” Asked by Democratic Senator Cory Booker, Pompeo refused to answer.
New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen Tuesday evening announced her opposition to Pompeo becoming Secretary of State. She cited his anti-LGBT views, along with his views on Muslims and women’s rights.
“After careful consideration, I cannot support Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to serve as Secretary of State,” Shaheen said in a statement.
Shaheen went on to say, “his previous roles are fundamentally different from that of Secretary of State, who represents American values around the world. The Secretary of State is a policy-making position and I continue to have deep concerns regarding Mr. Pompeo’s past statements and policy views, particularly in regards to the LGBTQ community, American Muslims and women’s reproductive rights. For these reasons, I have concluded that I cannot support Director Pompeo to lead the State Department at this critical time.”
Shaheen is one of 21 Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee. Pompeo would need 11 votes on to advance Pompeo’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote. As The Hill notes, Republican Rand Paul also has stated he will oppose Pompeo.
Democratic Senators Bob Menendez, Chris Coons, and Ben Cardin are reportedly undecided.
The Hill went as far as saying Pompeo “lacks votes for recommendation.”
— The Hill (@thehill) April 18, 2018
— Ryan Costello (@RN_Costello) April 17, 2018
Assuming all Democrats stand together in opposition, with Rand Paul voting no, Pompeo only has 10 votes and would be reported as not recommended.
Pompeo also has another problem. Even if one Democrat moves to support his nomination, Sen. Jeff Flake could block it:
Bit of a curveball in the Pompeo confirmation vote tally in the Senate Foreign Relations Cmte, as @JeffFlake is UNDECIDED.
“I’m waiting to talk to him privately again…I have a couple of concerns I’m waiting to hear on,” Flake says.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) April 17, 2018
Right now, Pompeo’s chances of becoming Secretary of State are very, very, slim.
Of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has demonstrated he has no qualms on destroying Senate rules and tradition to get his way (Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is one result of McConnell’s scorched earth politics) it’s possible he could advance Pompeo’s nomination. He could add a Republican to the committee. He could twist Rand Paul’s arm, forcing him to vote yes. He could easily demand the full Senate vote without a favorable committee vote. And then he would need a simple majority, which would be challenging, if not impossible – unless Senators change their votes.
Anything could happen.
But right now, chances are good Mike Pompeo may not become Secretary of State.
One of the three remaining undecided Democrats has announced he will not support Pompeo for Secretary of State:
Inbox: Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, is a NO on Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 18, 2018
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Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad
Republican Mehmet Oz is having a tough time in his entrance to Pennsylvania politics. The multi-millionaire celebrity TV doctor, running for a U.S. Senate seat, released a video which this week went viral with liberals – and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor John Fetterman – picking it apart.
In the video, an attack ad on President Joe Biden, who he is not running against, Dr. Oz says he’s shopping at “Wegner’s,” a grocery store that does not exist. Internet sleuths deduced he was shopping at Redner’s, although some believe he was at Wegmans — including a Newsmax TV host, who Oz did not correct.
Why did he get something as simple as the name of a beloved Pennsylvania grocery store wrong?
“I was exhausted,” Oz told Newsmax, after “campaigning 18 hours a day.”
He also admitted he gets the names of his children wrong.
Curiously, the 39-second video Oz recorded is from April, and it got criticized then, but he left it up – only for the Fetterman campaign to go after it again. Back in April it led to questions about his tremendous wealth, put at around $400 million, and calls of being a “carpetbagger,” as many say he actually lives in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.
Inflation is hurting American families. Under Joe Biden, gas prices are skyrocketing and food prices are rising. We must stop the reckless spending. This is outrageous! Thanks a lot, Joe. pic.twitter.com/8kNil6upn8
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 6, 2022
Politico reports the Fetterman campaign “said it had raised more than $500,000 from the crudité video alone — including a sticker of the non-existent ‘Wegners.’ ‘Oz clearly has never been in a grocery store before. That’s why this is resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania,’ said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager.”
The Fetterman campaign appears to have created a “Wegner’s Groceries” account on Twitter, and is pounding Oz with snark.
First ad campaign pic.twitter.com/nzSGbr1mK1
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Mmmmm 😋 crudité pic.twitter.com/SVqQDGOKEd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 16, 2022
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters do not appear to be impressed with Oz.
One Republican poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points.
“New poll conducted by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Pittsburgh Works Together shows big leads for Dems in the PA Senate and governors races. Fetterman up 18 points over Oz,” reports Politico’s Alex Isenstadt. The Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro is up 15 points over Republican Doug Mastriano, he adds.
Back over at Newsmax, here was host Shaun Kraisman hammering Oz:
Asked about mispronouncing ‘Wegmans,’ Mehmet Oz: “I was exhausted…I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth” pic.twitter.com/OZDjy0iN4d
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 17, 2022
“As you know, this video went viral,” Kraisman says, as Mediate reports. “You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more, putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegner’s – this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”
Kraisman later says, “I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegner’s? Can you explain that to them?”
“Yeah. I was exhausted. Well, you’re campaigning 18 hours a day. I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth.”
Kraisman also says, “it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about,” Oz replies, “and that we’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s what I’ll continue to do. I challenged my opponent. What have you done? Rolling your sleeves up in your own life to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania?”
Before he was elected Lt. Governor, Fetterman was elected mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, four times, and served for 13 years.
Oz concludes, “I’m the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges. Cost of living, crime, and our schools that afflict so many Pennsylvanians.”
Some have also questioned if Oz understands what job he’s running for.
U.S. Senators don’t have tremendous responsibility over their state’s cost of living, crime, and school issues. Nor do they “lead the Commonwealth,” as he said to the Newsmax host.
Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
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