Anthony Tata, a Trump nominee too racist and controversial to be confirmed by the Senate for the position the president initially nominated him for — undersecretary of defense for policy — has been appointed to a lesser, yet still influential job at the Pentagon: deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.
“In theory, the position would still offer Tata some degree of influence on hot-button Pentagon policy matters, potentially including Iran,” Reuters reports.
Politico reports on the Senate’s abruptly canceled confirmation hearing last week: “Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s chair, said lawmakers didn’t have enough information about Tata to consider him for the position, while Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the committee’s top Democrat, said, ‘Members on both sides of the aisle have raised serious questions about this nominee.’ On Sunday, Reed condemned the president’s move. ‘If President Trump’s goal is to hollow out, politicize, and undermine the Pentagon the way he has the State Department and Intelligence Community, then mission accomplished. This is an offensive, destabilizing move,’ he said. Reed also called move ‘an insult an insult to our troops, professionals at the Pentagon, the Senate, and the American people.'”
Defense News reported on a few of the statements by Tata dug up by CNN’s KFile: “They included calling President Barack Obama ‘a terrorist leader’ and calling Islam the ‘most oppressive violent religion I know of.’ Tata once reportedly tweeted at former CIA Director John Brennan: ‘Might be a good time to pick your poison: firing squad, public hanging, life sentence as prison b*tch, or just suck on your pistol. Your call. #Treason #Sedition #crossfirehurricane #Obamagate.'”
Reuters adds, “In addition to falsely calling Obama a Muslim and a terrorist, Tata has also called Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an African American, a ‘race-baiting racist,’ according to now-deleted Twitter posts seen by Reuters.”
“He used a hashtag in a different tweet that insinuated CNN anchor Don Lemon was on ‘the liberal plantation.’ according to CNN.
The Daily Beast adds: “As superintendent of the Wake County, North Carolina school district, Tata spearheaded the effort to re-segregate the entire system. The North Carolina NAACP called Tata ‘a walking scandal’ whose ‘racial insensitivity quickly became notorious.’ He also was accused of discriminating against Latino families and students with disabilities by refusing to give Spanish-speaking students translated versions of special education materials. Tata’s divisive, ideological management style failed to keep the school buses running on time and turned students of color and their parents into opponents.”
Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement after Tata was given the new position:
“Our system of checks and balances exists for a reason and the Senate’s role in the confirmation process for administration appointees ensures individuals at the highest levels of government are highly qualified. If an appointee cannot gain the support of the Senate, as is clearly the case with Tata, then the President should not put that person into an identical temporary role. This evasion of scrutiny makes our government less accountable and prioritizes loyalty over competence.
“The vacancies at the Department of Defense, which have now hit record highs under the Trump administration, should be filled through the existing nomination and confirmation process. If confirmations cannot be completed, the President must find new, qualified people who can win the support of the Senate. The record-breaking number of vacancies are currently limiting the ability of the Department to fulfill its myriad duties and missions, which poses a threat to our national security.”