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US Senator raises Pompeo tweet on racist blog against Indian- American opponent

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A 2010 tweet by nominee describing "good read" a racist blog which termed his then Congressional Indian-American opponent a "turban topper" was raised during his confirmation hearing by a top Democratic

Robert Menendez, who is a ranking member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, dug out several of the CIA chief's past remarks or tweets against religious and ethnic minorities to argue that today's was different from the past.

"So, the I hear today - much more different than some of the of the past. I'm trying to figure out which is the one that is going to act if he gets confirmed as the Because some of these things in the past I could never support.

"Some of the things you said here today could actually be supported. So, I hope you can help me understand this as we move forward in your nomination," Menendez said yesterday.

Pompeo, 54, nominated by US as his after he sacked Rex Tillerson, did not respond to these allegations.

"Thank You", he said, as Menendez brought to his notice some of his past controversial statements.

"Is it the who said in his 2013 speech that the failure of Muslim leaders to repudiate acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam make them 'potentially complicit?' or in these attacks and that this alleged behaviour quote casts doubt upon the commitment to peace by adherents of the Muslim faith?" Menendez asked.

"Is it the one that in 2010 in a congressional campaign tweeted out to your support of an article calling your opponent an American of South Asian heritage a "turban " Stating that you thought it was "a good read" - an article that you tweeted that said your opponent "could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist - who knows?" questioned the from

Menendez was referring to the tweet that his campaign made in 2010 against his then Indian-American political opponent in the Fourth Congressional District of

His campaign tweeted "good read" a link to a blog that described Goyale as a "turban topper" who "could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist etc who knows".

Thereafter, had called Goyale to apologise and the tweet was deleted by his campaign. won the elections.

Menendez was joined by several other Senators to bring up Pompeo's past remarks against Muslims and on other issues.

"During your tenure in you've made statements that have been described as anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT rights, so how would you, as Secretary of State, reconcile those positions and statements that you've taken in with the need to represent America's values and defend human rights?" asked

asked about his past statement on Muslims.

"I want to pick up on one of the themes we talked at length about and that involves many of your past statements concerning Muslim Americans. And perhaps I just want to start with some of your language in a speech you talked about folks who worship other Gods and call it multiculturalism," Booker said.

"You sort of warn that we live in a country where that happens. Do you have any views that the Muslim faith or people who believe in worshipping quote/unquote 'other Gods' is that just something negative in our country?" Booker asked.

said that his record was "exquisite" in respect to treating people of each and every faith with the dignity they deserve, to protect their right to practice their religion or no religion.

"I've heard these critics and you raised it yesterday. I have worked closely with Muslim leaders, with Muslim countries. The CIA has saved countless, thousands of Muslim lives during my 15 months.

"This is at the core of who I am Booker. And I promise you that I will treat persons of each faith or no faith with the dignity and respect that they deserve," said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 20:20 IST
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