Susan Rice: Pompeo Being 'Overtly Religious' Is 'Problematic'

August 25, 2020

Former Obama-era national security adviser Susan Rice said Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being an "overtly religious" member of President Trump's cabinet was "problematic."

"Mike Pompeo has been an overtly religious secretary of state, which in itself is problematic, because, again, he's supposed to represent all of America, all of our religions, all of our threads," she said in an interview on MSNBC.

Members of the Trump administration have frequently been faulted for their Christian faith over the past four years by liberal officials and members of the media. In 2017, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) opposed Office of Management and Budget nominee Russell Vought for espousing his Evangelical beliefs in an article, and Joe Biden's running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) interrogated a nominee for the U.S. District Court about his involvement in a Catholic charitable organization.

Article Six of the U.S. Constitution explicitly defends the right of those who hold public office to exercise their religious beliefs freely while they serve. It states "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Pompeo has been outspoken about his Christian faith during his time in office. Last fall, he gave a speech praising America for its "proud history of religious freedom" and the "success of nations when individuals are given their basic human dignity to practice their conscience, their faith, or to choose no faith if they so choose all around the world."

He added that this was often "not a popular conversation to raise in Washington, D.C."