Senators Urge Secretary of State Pick to Avoid Trump's 'Worst Instincts'

13 April, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Sen. Cory Booker D-N.J. questions Mike Pompeo at a Senate confirmation hearing

Booker also questioned Pompeo about his ties to prominent anti-Muslim figure Frank Gaffney, whose radio show he appeared on multiple times, and Pompeo's view that Muslims in America who do not speak out against terror are complicit in extremism.

According to his prepared remarks, Pompeo will chastise Russian Federation for acting "aggressively" and emphasize that the Trump administration considers Russian Federation "a danger to our country". Pompeo said he would work quickly in his new role to fill the gaps.

"Each of those tools that Vladimir Putin is using, we need to do our best to make sure he doesn't succeed", Pompeo said.

He also said Russian Federation has not yet gotten the full message about US determination to block aggression from Moscow.

Interestingly, Pompeo will call for an increased and extended commitment of us attention to Syria, although he won't comment in his opening statement on troop levels or Trump's threat to strike Assad in response to the regime's latest suspected chemical attack on civilians in Douma.

The remarks were in line with Trump's assertion that previous administrations gave North Korea too many concessions despite the country not giving up its nuclear weapon ambitions. "I've been involved in that investigation", Pompeo said.

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The Republican will also pledge to make it "an immediate personal priority" to work with US allies to try to "fix" the Iran nuclear deal. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told Pompeo, adding that "it's fair for our members to ask if your relationship is rooted in a candid, healthy, give-and-take dynamic or whether it's based on deferential willingness to go along to get along".

Gaffney's think tank alleged that mosques and Muslims across the USA were trying to "Islamize" the country by using American pluralism and democracy to their advantage.

"This is critical to strengthening the finest diplomatic corps in the world, and America and the world needs us to be that", he said in his confirmation hearing at the Senate.

As the hearing began, a protester who said he was a veteran and former diplomat shouted "this man is not a diplomat" and was escorted out of the room.

Over the past week, Pompeo met with senators from both sides of the aisle and called past secretaries of state, including Trump's arch political rival, Hillary Clinton, as Politico reported.

Pompeo, now the Central Intelligence Agency director, will vow to promote democracy and human rights while stressing America's "duty to lead", according to the remarks, despite Trump's vows to put "America first". Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who got into a heated exchange on the nominee's views on the Iran deal and Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

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Pompeo opposed the agreement, which limited Iran's nuclear activities for a time, while lifting worldwide sanctions.

"Congress must act to change Iranian behavior, and, ultimately, the Iranian regime", Pompeo wrote in an op-ed for Fox News in July 2016.

Pompeo argued that the challenge posed by Iran was much wider that the nuclear issue alone.

He said the current administration was determined to work diplomatically with the Chinese government in an effort to develop a more productive bilateral partnership. Pompeo declined to provide any details about his advice.

But Pompeo suggested his closeness to the president would be an asset, not a liability.

He added that the US has fewer Americans in Syria today than it did earlier in the USA campaign to defeat the Islamic State who had seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014. "With Mike, we've had a very good chemistry right from the beginning".

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