In the latest of many staff shakeups in President Donald Trump’s White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was abruptly ousted Tuesday, to be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo. The decision was made so abruptly that Tillerson hadn’t even spoken to the president prior to the announcement, according to The Washington Post.
But it’s important to note that Pompeo has a long history of anti-Islamic sentiments, and has often painted the War on Terror as a religious war between radical Muslims and Christians.
As Slate reported back when Pompeo was then Trump’s CIA pick, “America’s CIA will shortly be run by a man who appears to view American foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.”
As The Intercept reports, at a 2014 event also held in Wichita, Pompeo the Congressman acknowledged the “threat to America” was a minority of Muslim zealots, but framed the opposition as a Christian duty.
Pompeo’s Islamophobia goes deeper. During his first bid for office in 2010, Pompeo’s campaign reportedly tweeted a link to a blog post that said his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle, “could be a muslim a hindu, a buddhist, who knows … One thing’s for sure … goyle is not a Christian!” (Pompeo apologized, blaming the tweet on a staffer, but reportedly did not fire the staffer, according to The Intercept.)
There’s more: Like the fact that, like Trump, Pompeo has been a supporter of the CIA’s torture program and Guantanamo Bay. As a Congressman, he was a frequent guest on Frank Gaffney’s radio show, a man who was so “famously paranoid” that he was “disinvited from the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference after claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated its parent organization, the American Conservative Union,” The Interceptreports.