Controversial Trump Nominee Withdraws, Handed Pentagon Post: CNN

Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general and Fox News commentator, has withdrawn from consideration for a top Pentagon position days after the Senate Armed Services canceled a hearing on his nomination, CNN reported.

Tata didn’t have enough Senate support to be confirmed as undersecretary of defense for policy, according to some Senate Republicans who asked not to be identified. Committee Chairman James Inhofe had said the panel didn’t have enough information to hold the hearing as scheduled.

Instead, he’ll take a position as the official performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, CNN reported citing a Pentagon statement. That job, deemed temporary, doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

Tata’s nomination had foundered in part over past comments made, including promoting a conspiracy theory claiming that a former CIA director sent a coded Twitter post calling for the assassination of Trump in 2018. He also railed against what he called a “deep state cabal” working to undermine the president. He apologized for other anti-Muslim tweets, saying they were “out of character.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, a Democrat, criticized the move.

“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,” he said in a statement. “This evasion of scrutiny makes our government less accountable and prioritizes loyalty over competence.”

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