Booker didn't let Pompeo off the hook for his homophobia, and also nailed him for his association with Islamophobes Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel.
April 13, 2018

For the most part, Thursday's confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo's nomination to Secretary of State was predictable. Almost boring.

Cory Booker's questioning was the exception. Not only did he pin Pompeo down on his false distinction between Muslims and everyone else when it comes to reporting suspicious and violent activity, he drilled down to Pompeo's associations and attitudes.

Booker first asked Pompeo if he knew Frank Gaffney. After getting an affirmative answer, he asked if Pompeo had appeared on his show "dozens of times."

Pompeo ducked. "I was on his show some, yes, Senator."

"I have here over 20 times," Booker corrected.

Booker then went on to point out that Gaffney engages in hate speech against Muslims which Pompeo admitted he has not called out.

On to Brigitte Gabriel, who founded an organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Referring to Gabriel, Booker pointed out that she "has considered and made remarks that are hateful and bigoted."

When Booker asked if Pompeo called her out on her hateful statements, he dodged again, whining that he "can't recall statements [he's] made over 54 years."

Of course he hasn't called her out. He agrees with her. And Gaffney.

Booker chided Pompeo, telling him, "I believe anything that attacks our constitution and our ideals would require an obligation to call out."

He is, after all, wanting to be Secretary of State.

"I have called out," Pompeo protested. "We had a terrible fellow in Kansas named Fred Phelps. I called him out."

Calling out the despicable Westboro Baptist Church is easy, Mr. Pompeo. It's a lot harder to do it to your friends.

Booker moved on to Pompeo's attitude toward gays and gay marriage. I

"You do not believe two gay people should marry," Booker asked.

Pompeo indicated that his views haven't changed since he was in the House of Representatives. He doesn't think gays should marry and considers it a perversion.

But, but, but...He insisted that he treated married gay people at the CIA well, so that's all that matters.

Booker was not having it.

"I will conclude by saying, sir, you're going to be Secretary of State of the United States in a time where we have hate speech, hate action against Jewish and Muslim Americans. You'll be representing this country in a nation where gay individuals are subject to untold persecution, untold violence."

He concluded, "I do not necessarily concur that you are putting forth the values of our nation when you believe there are people in our country that are perverse and where you think that you create different categories of Americans and their obligations when it comes to condemning violence."

Pompeo's nomination is not a given. CNN reports that Rand Paul, Tim Kaine and Jeanne Shaheen oppose his nomination. Without their votes, he would fall short of the necessary votes to move the nomination out of the committee.

There is no one less qualified to be Secretary of State. Pompeo is a hardcore hater of Muslims, gays and anyone he perceives as The Other. His nomination should stall and die in committee.

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