Dem senator: Tillerson ouster underscores 'chaos' of Trump administration

Dem senator: Tillerson ouster underscores 'chaos' of Trump administration

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.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE's decision to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the latest sign of chaos within the Trump administration, blasting the president as the "Commander-in-Chaos."

"President Trump has never understood the critical role that the State Department plays in defining our values and promoting our interests abroad, or in advancing our national security and keeping the American people safe. President Trump has demonstrated yet again that he is the Commander-in-Chaos," Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.

Menendez called Tillerson's leadership at the State Department "misguided," accusing him of leaving the agency in "disarray."


The New Jersey Democrat's comments came shortly after Trump announced that he would replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate New CLOUD Act, supported by major tech, trusts Sessions and Pompeo to defend our human rights Pompeo must improve foreign aid, trickle-down education doesn’t work MORE

The abrupt announcement brought to an end Tillerson's tumultuous tenure at the State Department that was, at times, characterized by clashes with Trump over key policies and priorities. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support Senate, Trump clash over Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Conn.), another member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also accused Tillerson of being a "poor" secretary of State. But he took a dim view of Pompeo's nomination, saying that the CIA director would only exacerbate what he called a "weakened American diplomacy."

"We should all be alarmed by his ouster because President Trump seems to want someone who does the same thing, only faster and while fawning over the president," Murphy said.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump highlighted disagreements with Tillerson on key policy issues, particularly the Iran nuclear deal. By contrast, he said, he and Pompeo are "always on the same wavelength."