Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that she recently advised Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s pick for leader of the State Department, to retain senior career officials to handle global crises if he were to be confirmed.
Clinton, who has four years of experience as the secretary of State between the years of 2009-2013 under former President Obama, stated during America’s First Ladies luncheon in Michigan that she had advised Pompeo against a “purge” of experienced administration officials during a recent call.
“I told him that I thought he should take a hard look at retaining career diplomats who could advise him. Because you never know what might happen. You never know where the next hot spot or crisis will happen,” she claimed.
The 2016 DNC top pick for presidential candidacy then added that she was “deeply concerned” about the mass exodus of “some of the most qualified foreign service officers” that have occurred over the past year. This notably happened under the watch of the recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson was fired last month with very little warning. White House chief of staff John F. Kelly had called him to cut short a trip to Africa and advised that “you may get a tweet.”
After tweeting out the firing of Tillerson, Trump also announced that he would be replacing Tillerson with Pompeo, the current C.I.A. director, and former Tea Party congressman.
Pompeo’s nomination to lead came after a major reshuffling of the senior advisors and Cabinet officials that started last month.
If Pompeo were confirmed by the Senate, he would face the challenge of navigating through a proposal of restructuring the department pushed by Tillerson for steep budget cuts.
The Senate will begin confirmation hearings for Pompeo on Thursday.
Clinton said on Wednesday that she was “happy” to speak with Pompeo, despite the fact that he had thoroughly questioned her before a House committee hearing over the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Clinton has not been shy about criticizing President Trump. Since their faceoff during the 2016 presidential election, she has often called the president out on proposed policies and scandals.
Notably, however, Clinton had garnered a strong support during her run for the presidency, winning the popular vote by a significant margin. While Trump has denied the validity of the popular vote, he has not made any major moves to promote the American voting system. Polls near the time of the election were in her favor and current polls show a massive decline in support for Trump.
H/T: The Hill