- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2020

A group of 10 Senate Democrats is urging President Trump’s nominee to lead the military’s policy branch to withdraw his nomination following a series of controversial statements that have since been revealed.

Mr. Trump tapped retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata to replace John Rood as undersecretary of defense for policy last month. But Gen. Tata’s nomination sparked controversy with revelations of inflammatory tweets that have been criticized as Islamaphobic and extreme rhetoric during public appearances.

At least two influential retired generals pulled their support for Gen. Tata after the Twitter posts were revealed.

In a letter dated Friday but released publicly Monday, the senators urged Gen. Tata to resign from his current post as a senior adviser to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and argued that his prior comments “disqualifies you from serving in your current position and the position for which you have been nominated.”

The letter came just days before Gen. Tata is expected to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his nomination hearing.



Five Democratic members of the panel signed the letter including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.

Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Chris Van Holland of Maryland, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Cory A. Booker of New Jersey and Bernard Sanders of Vermont also backed the letter.

Republican and Democratic members of the panel are expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss the disputed nomination.

In since-deleted tweets that date back to 2018, Gen. Tata called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader” and claimed that Islam is the “most oppressive violent religion I know of.”

Gen. Tata later issued a statement to the leaders of the panel that said, “I deeply regret comments I made on social media several years ago … my tweets were completely out of character.”

But the apology did not appear to sway the opinion of the handful of Democrats, who will ultimately be tasked with voting on Gen. Tata’s nomination either in committee or on the Senate floor if it is approved by the panel.

“No one with a record of repeated, repugnant statements like yours should be nominated to serve in a senior position of public trust at the Pentagon,” they wrote. “Your views are wholly incompatible with the U.S. military’s values.”

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