Thompson: National Security Selections Deeply Troubling
November 18, 2016 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the President-elect’s selections for key national security positions – Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, and Rep. Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency:
“Today’s announcement by the President-elect of selections for key national security and law enforcement positions is deeply troubling and cause for concern.
For over two decades Senator Sessions has aligned himself with far-right anti-immigrant groups and obstructed common sense efforts to fix our Nation’s broken immigration system. He opposes bipartisan, legal immigration programs. Sessions also has a marred and extreme history of opposing civil rights and equal treatment of all people under the law. He has challenged the First Amendment by defending Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering into the United States.
Congressman Pompeo holds extreme positions on civil liberties issues related to due process and privacy. He has doubled-down on his views by pushing to allow the National Security Agency to restart bulk collection of all metadata and allow it to collect financial and lifestyle details of both Americans and individuals abroad.
Since Congressional confirmation is not required, the American Public must be even more wary of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Evidence from those who work with him suggests he may not be the steady hand or impartial arbiter that the position requires. We must also demand a full accounting of his international business ties and interests, which already indicate that after being fired as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, his consulting firm has advised and received payments from Russia, Turkey, and Middle Eastern countries.
As the Trump Transition continues to announce national security nominations and name advisors, the American public must be vigilant and understand the importance and lasting repercussions of these appointments. This is not about partisanship – it is about forming an administration that represents all citizens and puts America’s best foot forward. Today’s announcement is a clear indication that the upcoming Administration is intent on rolling back and reversing many of our constitutional guaranteed rights and civil liberties. No person, regardless of your religion, race, or citizenship will be safe if we allow individuals with such extreme views to lead our country.”