Pompeo Confirmation Highlights

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, nominated for Secretary of State, testified yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

This isn’t the first confirmation for Mike Pompeo. Last year, he had to be confirmed for CIA Director. As was reported last night, it appears Pompeo failed to disclose his business ties with a Chinese government owned oil business.

Why that could matter:

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has already signaled his opposition to Pompeo as Secretary of State for various reasons. To learn more, click here, The Hill. Also, with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) out recovering from brain cancer treatment, Pompeo needs some democrats to help push his nomination forward.

The Hearing:

At the start of the confirmation hearing, like others before him, he was greeted with protests:

In his opening statement, Pompeo thanked all living former Secretary of States for taking his calls and sharing with him what they thought, if confirmed, he would need to be a successful Secretary of State.

The questions touched on a number of issues. Senator Bob Mendez (D-NJ) pressed Pompeo on his relationship with Trump. In response, Pompeo declined to share any private conversations he had with the President.

Pressed further, Pompeo confirmed that he had spoken with Robert Mueller:

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) asked Pompeo if he agreed with President Trump’s AM tweet that much of the ‘bad blood’ with Russia is caused by the ‘fake & corrupt Russia investigation’. His response,

“The historic conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, and now Russia, is caused by Russian bad behavior,”

She went on to ask if Pompeo felt the investigation was a ‘Witch Hunt,’

“Ma’am, I’m going to not speak about any of the three investigations that I have been a participant in today.”

When asked if he felt the Russia probe was an ‘Attack On Our Country,’ he refused to answer, but when asked if he would resign if President Trump fired Robert Mueller, he responded,

My instincts tell me no, my instincts tell me that my obligation to continue to serve as America’s senior diplomat will be more important at increased times of political domestic turmoil.”

When asked about North Korea and if he could foresee a situation where the US would make the first strike he replied,

“The President has made clear, and I agree with him, that there may come that day. There may come the day when we see an arsenal of nuclear weapons capable of striking the United States of America. The President has made clear his intention to prevent that from happening and to the extent that diplomatic tools and other tools that America has as its foreign policy power are unsuccessful,” he said.

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) pressed if there were any circumstances in which he would concur with John Bolton that a ground invasion of North Korea could be necessary, to which he replied,

“Yes, I can imagine times when America would need to take a response that moved past diplomacy,”

Both he and the Senator agreed such action would be ‘catastrophic.’

When asked about Syria and what his goal would be for the region, his reply,

“The other objective is to achieve a diplomatic outcome such that there’s more stability, we can take down the violence — so this is a diplomatic task, so that we get to a place where the Syrian people can ultimately govern themselves. And our goal is to make that a post-Assad Syria one day.”

For more on his testimony with video and links please click here, CNN

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.