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Senate panel cancels hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee Tata

In a 2014 photo, then-Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Tony Tata speaks in Fayetteville, N.C.

LALITA HAZELETT/U.S. ARMY

By MARK SATTER | CQ-Roll Call | Published: July 30, 2020

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday canceled at the last minute the nomination hearing for Anthony J. Tata, President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to be the Pentagon’s policy chief.

Tata, a retired Army brigadier general and regular contributor to Fox News, once called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.” It is unclear whether the hearing will be rescheduled.

In a tweet, Senate Armed Services Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., said many lawmakers did not yet know enough about Tata to consider him for such a position at this time.

Inhofe also said that a lack of documentation was to blame, and that he felt there was not enough time to have a hearing so close to the August recess. According to Inhofe, Trump agreed with him.

But Tata has a relatively high profile, and his nomination has drawn pushback from Democrats who have cited his past comment on Obama.

The policy post is among the most senior in the department and plays a central role in developing military plans and priorities.

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