Republicans are wary of approving Trump's defense nominee who falsely called Obama a 'Muslim'
- Anthony Tata, the president's nominee to serve in a senior role at the Defense Department, had his confirmation hearing abruptly cancelled.
- Republican lawmakers were reportedly hesitant to nominate Tata, who was discovered to have falsely called President Barack Obama as Muslim and described him as a "terrorist leader."
- Tata also characterized Islam as the "most oppressive violent religion I know of."
- "There are many Democrats and Republicans who didn't know enough about Anthony Tata to consider him for a very significant position at this time," a GOP senator said in a statement.
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Anthony Tata, the president's nominee to serve in a senior role at the Defense Department, had his confirmation hearing abruptly struck from the Senate's schedule on Thursday morning, reinforcing the notion that Republicans have been hesitant to advance a controversial figure.
Tata, a retired US Army brigadier general and a regular Fox News guest, was nominated to serve as the undersecretary of defense for policy, a senior position in the Defense Department currently held by James Anderson in an acting capacity.
Based on the Senate Armed Services Committee's initial query of Tata, Republican lawmakers were hesitant to nominate the general, who was discovered to have falsely called President Barack Obama as Muslim on Twitter and described him as a "terrorist leader."
Tata also described Islam as the "most oppressive violent religion I know of," in past tweets. He later apologized for his Islamophobic remarks, adding that they were "completely out of character."
"My regret, however, has nothing to do with my nomination for Undersecretary of Defense of Policy," he said in a statement, according to The Hill. "Rather, I have a lifetime of public service leadership and a cadre of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and civilian mentors and protégés whom I disappointed with those comments."
The confirmation hearing, which was scheduled for Thursday morning, was scrapped after the Armed Services Committee chairman, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and the White House discovered they did not have the necessary votes to push the nomination through, an unnamed defense official told The Washington Post.
"There are many Democrats and Republicans who didn't know enough about Anthony Tata to consider him for a very significant position at this time," Inhofe said in a statement.
Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said Inhofe "did the right thing here, and it's clear this nomination isn't going anywhere without a full, fair, open hearing."
The White House is also expected to pull Tata's nomination completely, officials with knowledge of the process told The Post, adding that there was still a possibility that Trump may place Tata in another job in an acting capacity. A Senate source also told CNN that the White House intended to pull Tata's nomination.
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