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Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as 70th Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
April 26, 2018

Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was confirmed Thursday by the Senate as the nation’s 70th Secretary of State.

President Donald Trump nominated Pompeo last month after he fired then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Pompeo is a former congressman who graduated first in his class from West Point, and he has a Harvard law degree.

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He has also recently had a secret meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which Trump said Thursday on Fox & Friends went “very well.”

After some dragging of feet and what Trump called “obstructionist” Democrats, Pompeo was confirmed. Democrats have said that Pompeo has an aggressive position on foreign policy but backs down to Trump.

Republicans have said that the Democrats’ obstruction isn’t about Pompeo, rather their distaste for the President.

“Democrats are obstructing good (hopefully great) people wanting to give up a big portion of their life to work for our Government, hence, the American People,” Trump had tweeted. “They are ‘slow walking’ all of my nominations – hundreds of people. At this rate it would take 9 years for all approvals!”

After a last-minute reversal by Republican Sen. Rand Paul, the Secretary of State nominee was voted out of a Senate committee on Monday with a favorable recommendation, which means that a full vote on his nomination can take place.

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Had Paul not dropped his initial objection to Pompeo‘s nomination, it would have been the first time in almost 100 years that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted against a Secretary of State nominee.

Pompeo was voted favorably out of the committee with an 11 to 9 vote, as Democratic Sen. Chris Coons voted “present” and Sen. Johnny Isakson voted via proxy. Paul’s “nay” vote would have left the floor tied and not advanced the recommendation out of committee.

Trump tweeted on Monday about the political divisiveness of the vote.

“Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans,” Trump tweeted.

After Paul announced that he was reversing his vote, Trump told reporters: “I said he’d never let us down.”

Gina Haspel will serve as acting CIA director until she is confirmed.