Coons: I’m Concerned About A Tillerson-Bolton Combo At State

(Daily Caller/Kelsi Thorud)

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware railed against former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, one of the names being floated by the Trump transition team to serve as the deputy secretary of State.

Coons, who sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, voiced concerns over President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of State selection, i.e., Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. But, Coons is equally skeptical of the potential second in command at the agency.

“A number of senators, myself included, have raised concerns over whether Tillerson’s long and close friendship with Vladimir Putin, close enough to be awarded a medal for friendship, will complicate his ability to be an effective and independent secretary of State, working for American values instead of shareholder interests,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I’m equally concerned by rumors John Bolton may be nominated to be deputy secretary of State.”

Coons slammed Bolton on his views about the war in Iraq, saying that his foreign policy rely too heavily on combat.

“Bolton, my impression is, is an unreconstructed neocon who still believes the Iraq war was a great idea — despite evidence to the contrary — whose views on Iran remain very hard lined,” he continued, “and in combination with Tillerson will provide little restraint on the president-elect and a national security team that strikes me as too heavily inclined to rely on the use of force rather than diplomacy.”

He is not the only member of the upper chamber to express their discontent with the potential pick. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told ABC’s “This Week” that Bolton is an “automatic no” for him, saying he has a “naive understanding of the world.”

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