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Inhofe cancels hearing for nominee that called Obama a terrorist leader

U.S Sen. Jim Inhofe
U.S Sen. Jim Inhofe

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe on Thursday called off a hearing on the nomination of retired Army general and Fox News commentator Anthony Tata amid complaints regarding controversial comments made about former President Barack Obama and Muslims.

Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said there were many “Democrats and Republicans who didn’t know enough about Anthony Tata to consider him for a very significant position at this time.”

Tata was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, a high-ranking civilian position at the Pentagon. The Armed Services Committee held a closed door meeting with Tata on Tuesday; the hearing scheduled for Thursday was to be open to the public.

“We didn’t get the required documentation in time; some documents, which we normally get before a hearing, didn’t arrive until yesterday," Inhofe, a Republican, said. "As I told the President last night, we’re simply out of time with the August recess coming, so it wouldn’t serve any useful purpose to have a hearing at this point, and he agreed.”

Tata, a retired brigadier general who is also an author, called Obama a “terrorist leader” in a tweet in 2018. In another, he said Obama was a Muslim who “made no secret of his belief that a weaker America made for a stronger world.” He called Islam “the most oppressive, violent religion I know of.”

Tata has also attacked Democratic members of Congress in tweets.

A coalition of civil rights and other groups sent a letter to senators urging them to defeat Tata’s nomination.

Sen. Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday, “We’re a bipartisan committee. It’s fair to say members on both sides of the aisle have raised serious questions about this nominee. We had a closed door session on Tuesday and today’s public hearing has now been cancelled. Chairman Inhofe did the right thing here, and it’s clear this nomination isn’t going anywhere without a full, fair, open hearing.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›