WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement:
"I wish Secretary Tillerson the best. He was always a gentleman and respectful to me and my colleagues. That said, he leaves behind a hobbled State Department and the President never appeared to regard him as a valued member of the Administration.
“The timing of this move also couldn’t be worse. Less than a week after announcing a summit with Kim Jong Un—the sort of engagement that will require a diplomatic full-court press—the President has let the world know that he’s throwing an already hollowed-out State Department into further disarray with a transition at the top. However much I may have disagreed with Secretary Tillerson, to push him out at this moment sends a terrible message to friends and adversaries all over the world.
“As for Director Pompeo, I sincerely hope he’s not being set up to fail as so many others have been by this White House. He’s a former House colleague and I respect his candor about Russia’s ongoing effort to attack American democracy. When he comes before the Senate, we need to hear whether he will act where Mr. Tillerson did not in confronting this threat and helping protect American democracy. We need to learn whether he plans to continue the steep cuts to diplomacy and development that have hampered American leadership on the world stage. We need to understand his vision of America’s role in the world, the importance of our alliances and partnerships, and how he intends to advance our interests as well as our values. I will be listening closely.”
# # #