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

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezCNN anchors break into laughter over comedian's alleged prank call to Trump Comedian claims he tricked Trump while impersonating Dem senator Schumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms MORE (D-N.J.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit 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."

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The New Jersey Democrat's comments came shortly after Trump announced that he would replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Former CIA director Brennan urges Pompeo, Bolton, Kelly to resign following 'treasonous' Trump-Putin summit Mnuchin says US will consider Iran oil sanctions waivers: report 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 MurphySenate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin 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."