The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday raised alarms about Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Ahead of a Senate Budget Committee hearing on his nomination, the ACLU pointed to Vought’s inflammatory comments about Muslims in a 2016 religious post.
“Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned,” Vought wrote.
Manar Waheed, ACLU legislative and advocacy counsel, said Vought’s nomination to the position was “disturbing” in its implications for religious freedom.
“It is vitally important that Americans have confidence that their public servants will serve our entire nation in good faith,” he said.
“We will watch Vought closely and press to ensure that those helping decide how public money is spent and the government is managed understand the vital importance of nondiscrimination,” he added.
The OMB pushed back on the ACLU's characterization of Vought's comments, saying they were merely an internal theological discussion at his alma mater, which is a Christian school.
"Russ Vought is here to serve the President and to help Mick Mulvaney advance this Administration's priorities. If he is to be confirmed by the Senate, there is no doubt that he would afford all people with dignity and respect," said OMB spokesman John Czwartacki.
— This report was updated at 3:02 p.m.