On Sunday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and made a salient point about respect between federal agencies and elected officials.
Host Chuck Todd asked:
Finally, I want to get you to respond to some criticism James Comey laid at all of Congress in his book in the attacks on the law enforcement community – and he writes this: “I know there are men and women of good conscience in the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle who understand this. But not enough of them are speaking out. They must ask themselves to what, or to whom, they hold a higher loyalty: to partisan interests or to the pillars of democracy? Their silence is complicity – it is a choice – and somewhere deep down, they must know that.”
Do you accept his criticism that you and others have not spoken out enough in support of law enforcement as the president has, at times, rhetorically undermined law enforcement?
Well, I think that we do stand behind those men and women of our various agencies – those that are truly nonpartisan, and those that are working for the good of the American people. I have not read James Comey's book. I'm sure at some point it will come out, we'll be able to view that, but I will say that as head of an agency, there's need for a level of respect going both ways. So, I respect the men and women that do their job and do it in a nonpartisan manner, and I wish that we had seen that a little bit more from some of the heads of our agencies in the federal government as well.