Sen. Patty Murray criticized President Trump's nominee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Daniel Gade, for his past comments opposing women serving in combat roles in the military.
Gade, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army who lost a leg in Iraq in 2005, has disavowed the previous comments. The top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee nevertheless said it was "troubling" that he would have ever held such views. She raised the issue in her opening remarks during his nomination hearing.
The Washington Democrat was referring to a report Monday in the online magazine Reveal that quoted Gade as saying in 2011 that allowing women in combat roles would be "to the gigantic detriment of the warfighters and our national security" because military training standards "WILL be decreased," to accommodate them.
Gade told Reveal that he no longer believed this: "I now believe that anyone who can meet the physical and mental standards of the profession should be allowed into the profession in ground combat roles, and whatever role they qualify for."
Murray said: "Though you have said your position has changed, these comments, as you can imagine, are pretty troubling and suggest a lack of judgment and respect for women."
The senator did not ask him about his comments during the hearing, however, devoting her time to other aspects of EEOC policy.