U.S. Senate committee approved the nomination of President Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Monday after a Republican senator who had been opposed threw his support behind the CIA director in the face of party pressure. This was reported by Reuters.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination on a party-line vote, with all 11 Republicans backing him, nine Democrats opposed and one Democrat, Chris Coons, voting “present” because one Republican was at a funeral out of town.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there were enough votes in the full Senate to confirm Pompeo this week. That would allow Pompeo to attend a NATO summit on Friday.
Pompeo became one of Trump’s closest advisers during his 15 months as CIA director. He most recently has been deeply involved in preparations for Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including meeting with him three weeks ago.
While many Democrats consider Pompeo too hawkish and worry about past harsh statements on homosexuality and Islam, he has the support of at least three Democratic senators not on the committee who are running for re-election in states Trump won easily in 2016. That all but assures Pompeo will be confirmed.
“I do not believe Director Pompeo is someone who will always prioritize diplomacy over conflict, particularly in the context of the aggressive foreign policy voices growing around him,” said Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, citing Pompeo’s past openness to regime change in North Korea and Iran.
As it was reported earlier, Mike Pompeo, whose candidacy for the position of the U.S. Secretary of State is currently being considered by the Congress said on Thursday that the United States is going to continue the application of the Magnitsky act.
In 2016, the U.S. Congress unanimously supported a bill that provides the expansion of the Magnitsky law application to every country in the world, not just to Russia. The law enables the US President to renew the list of foreign nationals that, in his view, are involved in corruption and human rights violations.