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

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger MORE (D-N.J.) lashed out on Wednesday at White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayConway pushes CNN's Stelter to say who he voted for in tense exchange Tina Fey returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ as Sarah Palin with advice for Trump staffers Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump hits federally funded clinics with new abortion restrictions MORE's suggestion that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWH aides intentionally compose Trump tweets with grammatical mistakes: report Holder: DOJ, FBI should reject Trump's requests Ex-Trump campaign adviser rips claims of spy in campaign: It's 'embarrassing' MORE already considers Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pompeo lays out new Iran terms | Pentagon hints at more aggressive posture against Iran | House, Senate move on defense bill Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' Mike Pompeo raises the bar for a deal with Iran  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 TillersonTina Fey returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ as Sarah Palin with advice for Trump staffers Trump nominates Pacific Command head as ambassador to South Korea Trump’s offer could be just what Pyongyang was seeking MORE.

Menendez plans to vote against Pompeo's confirmation, as does Democratic Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenJudd Gregg: 'Medicare for all' means rationing for everyone The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade 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.