WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement following his vote against the confirmation of Congressman Mike Pompeo to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

“Prior to his confirmation hearing, Congressman Pompeo consistently defended waterboarding and other torture techniques as permissible under the law and the Constitution. He has called for an expansion of mass surveillance and data collection techniques, including of American citizens, that voters of both parties have roundly rejected. He has also engaged in fearmongering against the American Muslim community, suggesting that adherents of the Muslim faith are not committed to peace. 

“Given President Trump’s alarming statements about the Muslim community throughout the campaign, his ongoing disrespect of our intelligence community, and his expressed willingness to reinstate torture, the next director of the CIA must be someone who is unafraid to disagree with the President and unequivocal in his or her opposition to actions that go against our fundamental values. I am not confident Congressman Pompeo meets that standard, and as a result, I opposed his confirmation in the Senate.”