U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has been an outspoken critic of overreaching surveillance policies such as warrantless wiretapping and the use of torture to gather information from suspected terrorists.
Today, he issued a statement raising concerns about President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for national security adviser, retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).
Here is Wyden’s statement:
“The designation of Michael Flynn to be National Security Adviser is deeply alarming. His statements about Muslims are profoundly un-American as well as damaging to the fight against terrorism and national security. He has indicated an openness to torture and the destruction of an entire city, both of which are clearly illegal, not to mention immoral and destructive to America’s global leadership. His financial entanglements with Russia and other foreign governments are also cause for concern, particularly given President-elect Trump’s refusal to disclose his own finances.
With the designation of Michael Flynn and Steven Bannon, the president-elect has created a White House leadership that embodies the most divisive rhetoric of his campaign. To the extent that these become policies or legislative proposals, I commit to stopping them. I will also approach the confirmation process with the expectation that nominees will, at the very minimum, demonstrate a clear commitment to American values and the rule of law.
In that spirit, I look forward to the confirmation process for Representative Mike Pompeo to be Director of the CIA. Given its recent history of operating a disastrous torture program and then spying on the Senate itself, the agency demands principled leadership now more than ever. Unfortunately, Representative Pompeo’s comments in which he asserted that the CIA’s torture program was legal and that the American people did not deserve to know about it are deeply troubling.”