President-elect Donald J. Trump has caused more than a little controversy with the choices he has made for his cabinet. Trump’s naming of U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to head the CIA, however, may be the most controversial of all thanks to Pompeo’s evangelical religious opinions.
In the past, Pompeo has said many things which some say could indicate he lacks the temperament to be CIA director. These include a speech before a Wichita church group given by Pompeo in 2014. Pompeo claimed in the speech that the efforts of the United States to combat terrorism is a war between Christianity and Islam. He went even farther by stating that Christianity was the only effective means of confronting radical Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS. Pompeo called Jesus Christ the “only solution for our world.”
Many Democrats and even some Republicans have voiced their concerns over Pompeo’s previous statements and expressed a concern that the representative’s own ideologies could make him unfit to run the nation’s intelligence community. There are also concerns over how Pompeo will allow his viewpoints on other issues like abortion to enter into his method of leadership. Pompeo has previously voted to cease funding for Planned Parenthood and does not support abortion under any circumstances, including cases of rape and incest.
Opponents of Pompeo’s appointment also point to his support of torture as evidence that he is a poor choice for CIA director. Pompeo called those who use methods of torture such as waterboarding “patriots.” He defended torture as sanctioned by the U.S. Constitution and condemned a report heralded by Senator Dianne Fienstein which explored the CIA’s use of torture methods which included mock executions and electric shocks.
Pompeo has also indicated that he believes Edward Snowden should be executed for his revelations regarding data collection by the NSA, and that the NSA’s spying programs should be renewed.
It should come as no surprise that President-elect Trump continues to fill important leadership positions with individuals that align with his own views. Pompeo and others appear to have been chosen because Trump feels that he can count on them to help fulfill his political agenda.