Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono has two words for her critics who didn’t like her line of questioning during Senate confirmation hearings: “F**k them!”
The only immigrant senator, Hirono, who had a reputation for being “good girl” in the Senate, is now being lauded and criticized in equal measure for her tough line of questioning of Trump’s nominees for judicial positions. Compared to Barack Obama’s time, which had only seen nine of his court appointees being confirmed by the Senate during his first one and a half years in office, the Republican-controlled Senate has already confirmed 21 Trump appeals court appointees in the same time, as reported by NPR.
Part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mazie Hirono is one of the senators responsible for questioning and confirming Trump’s nominees. But while earlier senators used to get enough time to examine each nominee, Hirono and her colleagues have to deal with an avalanche of possible appointees in very little time.
But even so, the “good girl” turned ” badass” senator does not shy away from asking Trump’s nominees the most direct question about their sexual behavior in workplaces. As Newsweek reports, she started this line of questioning back in January, when Hirono and her colleagues were holding a hearing for Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Kurt Engelhard.
During the confirmation hearing, Hirono asked Engelhard point-blank if he had “made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature.”
Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono may have a quiet demeanor, but don't confuse that for a lack of toughness. https://t.co/Jes3VMGyRS
— NPR (@NPR) June 7, 2018
Engelhard responded by saying that he had never done anything of the kind. Since then, the Democratic senator has repeated this question — directly but politely — to every judicial nominee favored by Donald Trump, garnering her a reputation for being crude.
But what such a line of questioning does is that if any of the Trump appointees are later revealed to have a history of sexual misconduct, they can be indicted because of having perjured to the Senate.
“As I tell my staff,” Hirono replies when confronted about the criticism she has received for her tough line of questioning, “people are getting screwed in this country every single second, minute, hour of the day. And, by our efforts, if we can decrease that number, we will be making a difference. We will be doing our jobs.”
As for Donald Trump himself, the Democratic senator does not mince words. She believes Trump is a “xenophobic” and a “liar,” and while acknowledging that it is not “good” to address America’s president with such words, Mazie Hirono says there is simply no way around the “truth.”