Chuck Schumer is a big time showboat politician. The joke on Capitol Hill is, “The most dangerous place in DC is between Chuch Schumer and a television camera.” It’s true. Having followed Schumer’s career since he was in the House of Representatives, it is not much of an exaggeration. Schumer is happy to preen whenever he can, and now that he’s the Senate Minority Leader, we’ll see him television a lot.
Schumer got into a verbal altercation with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton over the nomination of Mike Pompeo to lead the CIA. Schumer asked for a delay of Pompeo so that Senator Diane Feinstein could attend the hearings of both Pompeo and Trump’s choice to be Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Republicans agreed but under the condition that Pompeo would be confirmed on the day of the inauguration.
The Weekly Standard picks it up:
But on January 19, one day before Trump’s inauguration, Ron Wyden said he’d seek to delay Pompeo’s confirmation when the Senate convened late Friday afternoon. That evening Cotton, who is close to Pompeo from their time together in the House of Representatives, began calling his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Wyden, seeking to avoid the delay. Some of the calls were cordial. Others were testy.
The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. “We need to take this out into the hallway,” Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. “Don’t tell me to lower my voice!” he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. Burr and Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.
It is at that point when Schumer made the mistake of lecturing Cotton on where he was eight years earlier:
Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. “Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,” Cotton snapped. “So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.”
It goes on:
Cotton asked Schumer why he’d gone back on his word. Schumer claimed that he’d only been speaking for himself when he promised to let Pompeo through. “I said that I would not block him,” Schumer said, emphasizing the personal pronoun, according to sources who witnessed the exchange. “I never said that I could speak for 47 other Democrats.”
The Republicans were stunned.
Frankly, I am not sure why they’re stunned. Charles Schumer is a nicer version of Harry Reid. Reid is an awful human being. Schumer is a relatively nice person but he’s got ice in his veins when it comes to politics. Republicans are dumb to believe anything the man says.
It’s good that Cotton threw Schumer’s self-righteousness back in his face. He deserved it.