A group of Democratic senators is calling on the White House’s pick to lead the Pentagon’s policy office to withdraw from consideration ahead of a hearing Thursday to consider his nomination.

The lawmakers, half of which serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter Friday to Ret. Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata citing his previous incendiary remarks and also urging him to resign from his current role as a senior adviser to DoD.

Ret. Army. Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, the White House’s pick to serve as the next Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

“Your record of offensive and inflammatory comments disqualifies you from serving in your current position and the position for which you have been nominated,” the lawmakers wrote to Tata.

In June, the White House announced it nominated Tata to succeed John Rood, who resigned as DoD’s under secretary of defense for policy earlier this year (Defense Daily, June 12). 

The group of senators note that Tata has called Islam “the most oppressive violent religion I know of” and cited his comments that the Iran nuclear deal was due to then President Obama’s “drive to subvert U.S. national interests to Islam and a globalist agenda.”

Tata has also previously called Obama a “terrorist leader” and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) “violent extremists,” according to the lawmakers.

The lawmakers add that Tata only apologized for his remarks in a letter to SASC leadership after his past comments had come to light, where he called it an “aberration in a four-decade thread of faithful public service.”

“Your letter to committee leadership appears to be a conveniently timed retraction by someone who has suddenly realized his nomination is in jeopardy. But your multiple past statements cannot be dismissed simply as an aberration,” the senators wrote. “No one with a record of repeated, repugnant statements like yours should be nominated to serve in a senior position of public trust at the Pentagon.”

Friday’s letter was signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.)