The Senate yesterday approved CIA Director Mike Pompeo, by a vote of 57-42 as President Trump’s next Secretary of State.  On Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted along party lines to recommend Pompeo for Secretary of State.  All the Democrats on that committee opposed Pompeo’s nomination mostly for what they view as his hawkish views.

Pompeo is a West Point Graduate and former Army captain.  He was elected three times to the U.S. House from Kansas. He has led the CIA since Trump came to office.

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo said he would rebuild the ranks of the State Department, which has seen dramatic departures among senior staff under ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who President Trump fired in March.

Secretary Pompeo kicked off his tenure by taking a tough stance on Russian aggression.  At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels today, Pompeo agreed with diplomat counterparts to combat Russia’s’ behavior.  Russia’s actions in Syria, its suspected use of a nerve agent against a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K and its cyber activities were all discussed.

The NATO minsters also agreed on the need for member countries to meet their commitments to defense spending, an action Trump has strongly called on them to take.  The meeting marks Pompeo’s first full day on the job.  Pompeo will also visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan.

Pompeo’s nomination comes as the White House faces several important issues in the coming months.  President Trump is preparing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong On in June with the hope of ending North Koreas’ nuclear weapons program.  The president is also preparing to make a decision on whether to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. In addition, the White House has announced it will plan to move to U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.  And, the Trump administration continues to bump heads with Russia over Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

 

 

 

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