Retired Gen. Tata appointed to Pentagon post, after Trump administration pulls his nomination

The retired brigadier general's Senate nomination hearing was abruptly canceled last week, amid fears that he would not secure the votes he needed for confirmation

Updated: August 3, 2020 - 1:11pm

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The Trump administration has appointed retired Army Gen. Anthony Tata to a Pentagon post after pulling his nomination for a similar post, amid concerns that he wouldn't pass Senate confirmation.

Tata will serve as principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, a Defense Department spokeswoman said Sunday. The spokeswoman described the role as a less senior policy position, according to Reuters.

Tata, a retired Army brigadier general, has called former President Obama a “terrorist leader."

He retired in 2009 following an Army probe that found at least two extramarital affairs. Adultery is a crime in the military. Tata has since made a number of inflammatory statements on Twitter and as a political commentator on the Fox News Channel, including the ones about former CIA Director John Brennan and the Islamic religion. 

"If an appointee cannot gain the support of the Senate, as is clearly the case with Tata, then the president should not put that person into an identical temporary role," Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said of the administration's decision to appoint Tata. "This evasion of  scrutiny makes our government less accountable and prioritizes loyalty over competence."

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