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Mondello’s Senate confirmation hearing scheduled for next week

Former Nassau County Republican chairman Joseph Mondello.

Former Nassau County Republican chairman Joseph Mondello. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

WASHINGTON — Former Nassau County Republican chairman Joseph Mondello will appear before a U.S. Senate hearing on June 13 for his nomination to be the ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Foreign Relations Committee said Wednesday.

Mondello, who stepped down on May 24 from the powerful party post that he held for 35 years, will be one of three of President Donald Trump’s nominees to appear before the panel chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Trump first brought up the possibility of an appointment to an ambassadorship a year ago, said Mondello, who endorsed the New York reality TV star and entrepreneur in March 2016, before most politicians in both parties took him seriously.

Mondello, who said he has never visited the twin Caribbean islands, will face questions about U.S. policy and international policy. Mondello told Newsday he had spoken with a former ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

In 2014, Long Island businessman and political donor George Tsunis withdrew his nomination to be ambassador to Norway after he turned in a poor performance at his confirmation hearing, leading several Midwest senators to say they would vote against him.

Also appearing before the hearing next Wednesday will be Kimberly Breier, a State Department official who would be promoted to assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Kenneth S. George, a former Texas Republican lawmaker and party official, to be ambassador to Uruguay.

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