Menendez Mansplains Heitkamp's Support for Pompeo: That's Not Her Focus

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 1:30 PM

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) dismissed his colleague Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s (D-ND) support for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. On CNN Friday, Menendez implied Heitkamp didn’t really know what she was talking about as she wasn’t even a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he thought her focus was on other things.

"What do you say to Heidi Heitkamp?" CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked Menendez.

"Everybody makes their own judgment,” he replied. “She's not a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I don't think that's where her focus is."

"Where is her focus then?" Bolduan pressed.

"Agriculture, and other issues that I think are incredibly important to her state and to the country," Menendez replied. "But as someone who spent 26 years in Congress, in the House and the Senate, sitting on the Foreign Relations Committee of each house, I am focused like a laser beam on what foreign policy should be and what it means to our country in terms of national security."

Heitkamp announced her support for Pompeo Thursday, the first Democrat to do so.

"Pompeo demonstrated during this nomination process and during our meeting in March that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department so they can do their jobs in advancing American interests," she said in a statement. "At a time of peril around the world, we need to exhaust all diplomatic options before sending the brave men and women of the armed forces into dangerous situations that could escalate out of control.