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

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate to vote on blocking Trump's Saudi arms deal as soon as this week There is a severe physician shortage and it will only worsen Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties MORE (D-N.J.) lashed out on Wednesday at White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth Conway'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Amash splits with Republicans, votes to authorize subpoena for Kellyanne Conway The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate MORE's suggestion that President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE already considers Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo2 US service members killed in Afghanistan after Pompeo visit The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? State Department need not be at odds with itself on Republic of Cyprus policy 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 TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Leaked Trump transition vetting documents show numerous officials with 'red flags': Axios Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration MORE.

Menendez plans to vote against Pompeo's confirmation, as does Democratic Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDemocrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill after Mnuchin announces delay 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.