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

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Isolationism creeps back over America, as the president looks out for himself MORE (D-N.J.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Giuliani associate Lev Parnas discussed Ukraine with Trump at private dinner: report 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 PompeoDemocrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings Pompeo condemns 'deplorable' killings of Iraqi protesters Trump-appointed State Department official embellished her résumé, made fake Time cover: 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 MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer 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."