The New York Times reported today that the White House is planning to push out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, putting Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton into Pompeo’s job.
Pompeo, who would become the country’s top diplomat, has repeatedly framed the fight against terrorism as a war between Christianity and Islam, as The Intercept reported in detail when he was nominated to head the CIA:
“This threat to America,” Pompeo told a church group in Wichita in 2014, is from a minority of Muslims “who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer.”
“They abhor Christians,” Pompeo said, “and will continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
In 2013, after the Boston Marathon bombing, Pompeo declared on the House floor that Islamic community leaders who do not repeatedly and publicly speak out against terrorist acts are “potentially complicit” in those acts.
Pompeo has also had a close relationship with ACT for America, a virulently anti-Muslim group whose president, Brigitte Gabriel, has said that a “practicing Muslim…cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.” Late last year, Gabriel sent an email to supporters boasting of her group’s ties to the incoming Trump administration. She wrote that Pompeo “has been a steadfast ally of ours since the day he was elected to Congress,” that he had sponsored a legislative briefing for the group’s members the previous year, and as “a sitting member of the Select Committee on Benghazi, he worked very closely with ACT and was bestowed our organization’s highest honor of National Security Eagle Award for 2016.” The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that Pompeo has also addressed ACT’s national conference multiple times.