Press Release

Gillibrand Joins Call On Anthony J. Tata To Withdraw Nomination For Under Secretary Of Defense For Policy

Jul 28, 2020

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Personnel Subcommittee, joined Senate colleagues in calling on retired Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata to withdraw his nomination to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense (DoD) and resign his current position as a senior advisor to the secretary of defense. Years of bigoted, sexist, and conspiratorial comments by Tata — on matters including Islam, President Barack Obama, and members of Congress — have recently emerged. Gillibrand and her colleagues expressed concern that such offensive comments disqualified Tata from serving as the third-highest ranking DoD official and principal advisor to the secretary on the department’s policies and activities.

“The comments made by Brigadier General Tata are unacceptable and should be disqualifying for any public servant, let alone a top ranking Pentagon official,” said Senator Gillibrand. “He has repeatedly made dangerous comments that have made clear his character is not in line with the values of our military or our country. I urge Brigadier General Tata to immediately withdraw his nomination and resign from the Pentagon to ensure that our nation’s top public servants reflect the diversity, inclusion, and unity that makes our country strong.”

In 2018, Tata publicly made numerous inflammatory remarks on Twitter, including that Islam is the “most oppressive violent religion I know of,” and that the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement “alone is more than enough evidence of [former President Barack Obama’s] drive to subvert US national interests to Islam and a globalist agenda.” He has also called President Obama a “terrorist leader” and alleged that the former president “made no secret of his belief that a weaker America made for a stronger world.” Brigadier General Tata made further dishonorable remarks towards members of Congress, claiming that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Maxine Waters “have always been the same violent extremists” and referred to Congresswoman Waters in particular as a “vicious race baiting racist.” Since his nomination became public, Tata has walked back his statements, many of which have been deleted. 

Full text of the letter can be found here