Menendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat'

Menendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat'

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap Administration should use its leverage to get Egypt to improve its human rights record MORE (D-N.J.) lashed out on Wednesday at White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report The Memo: Omarosa fury shows no signs of cooling MORE's suggestion that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE already considers Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts Turkish president: US set deadline to release detained pastor Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart MORE the "nation's chief diplomat."

"This is not about the President’s perception. No matter how President Trump sees it, Dir. Mike Pompeo is NOT the nation’s chief diplomat, as of today," tweeted Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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The tweet is in reference to Conway's claim on a conference call on Wednesday that referenced a trip Pompeo, the current CIA director, took to North Korea representing the United States.

Pompeo was nominated for the top State Department post last month, after Trump abruptly dismissed Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonDems want GOP chairman to subpoena State Department over cyber docs Overnight Energy: Trump elephant trophy tweets blindsided staff | Execs of chemical plant that exploded during hurricane indicted | Interior to reverse pesticide ban at wildlife refuges Administration should use its leverage to get Egypt to improve its human rights record MORE.

Menendez plans to vote against Pompeo's confirmation, as does Democratic Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenHillicon Valley: Trump officials deliver show of force on election security | Apple hits trillion | How fake Facebook groups manipulated real activists | Senate group seeks new Russia sanctions Senators introduce bill to slap 'crushing' new sanctions on Russia Hillicon Valley: Manafort trial is Mueller's first courtroom test | Dem eyes options for tech crackdown | Activist publishes 11K Wikileaks Twitter messages | Trump, officials huddle on election security | How the 'Abolish ICE' hashtag caught fire MORE (N.H.), which would leave the former Kansas congressman short of a favorable recommendation from the Foreign Relations panel.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Pompeo had travelled to North Korea earlier this month, where he held a secret meeting with that country's leader, Kim Jong Un. 

The meeting came as Trump prepares for a landmark meeting with Kim.