As committee vote nears, Pompeo faces unprecedented Senate opposition

20 April, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Sen. Angus King said CIA Director Mike Pompeo does not yet have his vote to be President Donald Trump's next secretary of state

"I believe our nation's top diplomat must be forthright, and more critically his past sentiments did not reflect our nation's values and are not acceptable for our nation's top diplomat", Menendez said, with Sen.

He also dismissed the importance of next week's Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote on Pompeo, calling the Pompeo critics on that committee "two-bit Talleyrands" and stating that if a majority of the panel fails to support Pompeo, "the Senate will set them straight".

Pompeo met with foreign relations members in recent weeks, but has begun to reach out to other Democrats as well.

"I think that Mike will be in good shape", Trump added.

But a week after Pompeo underwent a five-hour grilling by Senate committee, the unofficial vote count was 10-9 against him Wednesday, with one Republican, Senator Rand Paul, breaking with his party to oppose the nominee.

Fourteen Democrats backed Pompeo's nomination to be Central Intelligence Agency director previous year, and of those, several have said they will not be supporting him to be secretary of state - including Sens.


Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tim Kaine of Virginia announced their opposition to Pompeo this week. Even The Washington Post editorial board warned Democrats to quit playing games and confirm him. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the lone Republican to vote against Pompeo's confirmation as the nation's spy chief past year.

Corker said it will be up to GOP leaders to decide what to do if Pompeo can't muster the votes at committee level. As CIA director, he has been a professional, demonstrating his competence and qualification to be secretary of state.

At his confirmation hearing last week, senators pressed Pompeo to avoid becoming a "yes man" for Trump's foreign-policy impulses if he's confirmed. Among the Democrats who voted yea were senators Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). But even then, Republicans only hold a two-vote advantage over Democrats in the full Senate. Pompeo returned to Washington with enough assurance that North Korea was prepared to negotiate over the future of its nuclear weapons program that the White House decided summit talks were worthwhile, according to the people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

DiMaggio, who helped broker the first formal discussions between the Trump administration and North Korean officials previous year, believes Pompeo had a leg up on his predecessor.

Other Democrats echoed the notion that Pompeo would prioritize military solutions over diplomatic negotiations. Pompeo met directly with Kim, who since taking power in 2011 has ramped up the country's nuclear weapons program despite overwhelming worldwide condemnation.

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