Familiar Republican senators like Marco Rubio (FL), Ted Cruz (TX) and Mike Lee (UT) are concerned about President Trump's choice for Colombia Ambassador. Joseph MacManus, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service, worked under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Obama administration years. The senators are under the impression that MacManus helped to drive the misleading narrative that the attack in Benghazi was the spontaneous response to an insensitive YouTube video.
"It is deeply concerning that Mr. MacManus was somehow selected to lead our only NATO ally in Latin America," Rubio told the Washington Free Beacon. "As a former adviser to Secretary Clinton, he played a significant role in the spread of misinformation following the Benghazi attacks, and I have serious concerns over his ability to represent our interests and adequately influence U.S. foreign policy in such an important capacity." (Washington Free Beacon)
Cruz and Lee, too, were wary about MacManus's closeness to Clinton and argued he does not share Trump's "America First" agenda.
The senators are especially on edge considering this is "one of the most tense periods in modern U.S./Colombia relations," according to Finance Colombia. In September, President Trump threatened to decertify Colombia, our strongest ally in Latin America, as a partner in the war on drugs if it does not reduce its cocaine production. Colombia is the source of 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the U.S.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, however, defended his nation's efforts in combatting the drug trade.
"Without a doubt, Colombia is the country that has had the biggest success and has most combatted drugs," the Santos government said. "Nobody has to threaten us to confront this challenge."
With such tense issues on the line, no wonder Cruz is asking his Senate colleagues to "scrutinize" the nomination closely.