President Donald Trump criticized Democrats Wednesday for slowing down the process for nominating foreign posts, also minority leader Charles Schumer was accused by the White House for imperiling national security by blocking some ambassadorships.
The main of the president’s frustrations is Richard Grenell, a former U.S. spokesman to the United Nations, who Trump has nominated for U.S. Ambassador in Germany. Although Trump nominated Grenell last September he has still not had a confirmation vote.
According to The Hill, Grenell has broad support among Republicans and he has cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but Democrats are requiring 30 hours of floor debate and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has not scheduled a vote.
“Many of the agencies just have so many people out there, including diplomats from, as an example, Germany. Major countries, we have diplomats, they wait in a line because the Democrats don’t want to approve them, because they want to obstruct,” Trump said Wednesday at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit.
“And that’s not good,” he continued. “It’s never been like this, ever. They’ve never held them this long. Republicans have never done this to this extent with the Democrats. And Schumer and the Democrats ought to get going because it’s the wrong thing for our country. It’s a very terrible thing.”
Trump also criticized McConnell when he addressed McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who is the Transportation Secretary, implying that the majority leader had done a better job of approving nominees at her agency.
“We have hundreds of people sitting out there, and they’re obstructionists,” Trump said. “They don’t want to approve them….it is just a terrible thing. Elaine, we have so many people — is that correct? — so many people from other agencies. Your agency gets pretty good treatment, I think.”
The Hill also reported that Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who is friends with Grenell, pressured McConnell on the nominations in an interview last December. At the time, McConnell said he hoped to have Grenell confirmed by the end of 2017, which did not happen.
“Ambassadorships, for example, that normally just clear on a voice vote, many of them have you know, made us take a lot of time in the Senate,” McConnell said at the time. “And that’s the way you slow walk or kill a nomination, by balling it up. So it’s a frustration.”
Meanwhile, the White House has begun highlighting nominees that still have not received a vote.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday stated that “a stunning” 43 percent of Trump’s nominees are still awaiting approval in the Senate adding that there have been 102 fewer confirmations so far than the next closest administration.