Dem senator fires back at Trump by listing ambassadors that haven't been nominated

Dem senator fires back at Trump by listing ambassadors that haven't been nominated

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case MORE (D-N.J.) on Sunday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE for accusing Democrats of obstruction, noting a slew of ambassadorial positions for which nominees haven't been put forth.

“This Administration has routinely denigrated the responsibilities of our diplomatic and development corps and deemed them low priorities for American foreign policy. Rather than blaming others, the president should examine his record,” Menendez said in a statement.

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Twitter listed a series of vacant ambassador posts in the Middle East and Africa, including Turkey, Egypt and Somalia.

Menendez tweeted that Trump is “the problem,” a criticism that comes after the president on Sunday said Democrats are obstructing the confirmation process.

“The Democrats continue to Obstruct the confirmation of hundreds of good and talented people who are needed to run our government...A record in U.S. history,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“State Department, Ambassadors and many others are being slow walked. Senate must approve NOW!”

According to the American Foreign Service Association, there are 44 vacant ambassador positions open in the State Department. That number includes six countries for which the United States does not exchange a top diplomat.

Menendez on Sunday also criticized the management of the State Department, which is helmed by Secretary Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump uses Nowruz to hit Iranian regime Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Trump is not the first president to fire Cabinet officials to bury news MORE.

“President Trump must understand American leadership can only occur if American leaders are present on the international stage,” Menendez said in his statement.

“Prioritizing diplomatic nominations only when there are sudden crises is not a strategy and not in the national security interest of the United States.”