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

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange MORE (D-N.J.) lashed out on Wednesday at White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump, first lady to discuss opioid crisis at Atlanta conference Kellyanne Conway calls out 'Old White Male Career Politicians' leading 2020 Dem field Charges dropped against woman accused of Kellyanne Conway assault MORE's suggestion that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE already considers Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump admin announces new restrictions on travel to Cuba Russia is gaining influence in Libya: How will Washington respond? Trump reverses policy, allows lawsuits against businesses in Cuba 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 TillersonJuan Williams: The high price of working for Trump Graham jokes to Pompeo: You're the 'longest-serving member of the cabinet, right?' Trump moves to install loyalists MORE.

Menendez plans to vote against Pompeo's confirmation, as does Democratic Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 William Barr is right to investigate FBI actions during 2016 campaign Trolling of Bill Barr shows how language is twisted to politics 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.