Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said Thursday there was “not a lot learned” in the multiple hours of testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because Pompeo was more interested in pleasing his boss, President Donald Trump, than enlightening the senators.
“Unfortunately, the environment that is created by the administration causes folks to have to know that always the President is going to watch everything that takes place and if there’s an ounce of daylight shown between them and him, they begin to be marginalized and over time, terminated, right?” Corker said on Capitol Hill. “So, Pompeo knows that. He’s a smart guy and so his audience yesterday was not the committee. It was Trump. That was very apparent.”
Corker, who is retiring from the Senate, is a vocal critic of Trump but has also worked with the administration on several issues.
The Tennessee Republican said “it’s been very difficult to get them” to appear before the committee and Pompeo’s treatment of the senators probably created lasting damage.
“He probably did not endear himself and is probably going to cause himself a few issues down the road because it does take cooperation on both sides of the aisle to move folks,” he said, seeming to reference the committee’s handling of future nominees for the State Department. “It was pretty evident that he was pounding his chest so people at the White House would cheer him on. Probably could have done without that.”
“Most presidents are okay with some daylight being created,” Corker added. “This President doesn’t allow that to happen.”