President Trump tweeted his support for CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday during his five hours of testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Pompeo was nominated by Trump last month to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
“Good luck to Mike Pompeo during his Confirmation Hearing today,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “He will be a great Secretary of State!”
“Senators, if confirmed, I would raise my hand and swear an oath to defend our Constitution for the seventh time in my life,” Pompeo said in his opening remarks. “The first time as as an 18-year-old West Point cadet. With this oath, I would commit to defend the exceptionalism enshrined in our Constitution, which provides for our obligation to engage in diplomacy and model the very best of America to the world.”
During his testimony, Pompeo promised to fill vacancies at the State Department left vacant while Tillerson was Secretary of State.
“At the State Department, there are too many holes, too many vacancies, too many unfilled positions,” Pompeo said.
Following Trump’s announcement that he was tapping Pompeo for Secretary of State, Pompeo released a statement thanking Trump for the opportunity to take over.
— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2018
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as Secretary of State. His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity.
Serving alongside the great men and women of the CIA, the most dedicated and talented public servants I have encountered, has been one of the great honors of my life. I am proud of the work we have done on behalf of America and know that the Agency will continue to thrive under the leadership of Gina Haspel.
If confirmed, I look forward to guiding the world’s finest diplomatic corps in formulating and executing the President’s foreign policy. In my time as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, I have worked alongside many remarkable Foreign Service officers and Department of State leaders serving here in the United States and on the very edge of freedom. I know I will learn from them and, as President Trump set out in his State of the Union Address, work hard to ensure that ‘our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.'”
Pompeo is a West Point graduate who represented Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in Congress before he served as CIA director starting in January 2017.
One of the largest challenges Pompeo would face, if confirmed, would be the Iran nuclear deal, which Pompeo has been critical of in recent years and even compared it to ISIS.
“For, unlike ISIS and its mirage of a caliphate, Iran is a powerful nation-state that remains the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism. The Islamic Republic is Iran’s version of what the caliphate ought to look like under the control of an Ayatollah and his praetorian guard, the IRGC [Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps],” he said.
Pomeo said at his hearing yesterday that, as he understands it, President Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal within the next month if fixes aren’t made and Iran isn’t compliant.