Mike Pompeo, the CIA director picked to be the next U.S. Secretary of State will tell the Senate that years of soft US policy toward Russia are “now over”. Drawing a sharp contrast with predecessor Rex Tillerson, Pompeo will vow to promote democracy and human rights while ending “demoralizing” vacancies at the State Department. This was reported by Associated Press.
Pompeo will chastise Russia for acting “aggressively” and emphasize the Trump administration considers Russia “a danger to our country”, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press from a senior Trump official.
Pompeo’s remarks Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be the first chance for lawmakers and the public to hear directly from the former Kansas congressman about his approach to diplomacy and the role of the State Department, should he be confirmed to lead it. Pompeo’s views on global issues are well known — he was questioned extensively by senators for his confirmation to run the CIA — but Democratic senators have raised questions about his fitness to be top diplomat, given his hawkish views and past comments about minorities.
“When journalists, most of whom have never met me, label me — or any of you — as ‘hawks,’ ‘war hardliners,’ or worse, I shake my head,” the former Army officer will say. “There are few who dread war more than those of us who have served in uniform.”
“War is always the last resort,” he added.
Pompeo, who was confirmed for the CIA job by a 66-32 vote, developed a reputation for being more outwardly political than many past directors of the traditionally apolitical agency. He developed a visibly close relationship with the president, traveling to the White House on most days to deliver the highly classified President’s Daily Brief in person rather than leaving the task to other intelligence officials. Often Trump would have the CIA director stay in the West Wing after the briefing to accompany him to other meetings.