US Secretary of State Nominee Pompeo Signals Tougher Approach Toward Russia

13 April, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Mike Pompeo

Pompeo - who once hinted he would not be bothered if North Korea's Kim were assassinated - was also asked whether he favors USA military action to overthrow the nuclear weapon-armed regime in Pyongyang. In his opening statement, Pompeo signaled that he planned to harvest a forceful diplomacy.

"Senator, my record on this is unambiguous", Pompeo said.

"I take a back seat to no one" when it comes to standing up to Russia, Pompeo said.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the committee, said that while Trump has sometimes been erratic, "we have also seen that good counsel has led the president to evolve".

President Trump nominated Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on conversations he was reported to have had with Trump about FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. But he wouldn't answer questions about the contents of the interview, arguing it would be improper since, as CIA director in charge of overseas intelligence gathering, he has been a "participant" in Mueller's probe. You're going to be dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues.

"My relationship with President Trump is due to one thing: We've demonstrated value to him at the Central Intelligence Agency".

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"My instincts tell me no", Pompeo said about possibly resigning.

Mr Pompeo, if confirmed, would take charge at a time when the Trump administration faces pressing decisions over Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Pompeo added that if the deal can't be fixed and Trump decides to withdraw, he will l continue to advocate for a tougher accord.

Trump has gone without a top USA diplomat for almost a month.

"(There is) a Chinese government that is intent on expanding their capacity to have not only economic influence on those countries, but using that economic tool to achieve political influence in those countries as well", Pompeo said.

"I asked him if he thinks the President of the United States can launch a war outside of those two provisions, and he replied, 'I do'".

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Casting himself as a man of the people dedicated to improving morale at the State Department and filling numerous key agency vacancies, Pompeo said his military service makes him keenly appreciative of the country's diplomatic work to prevent unnecessary wars.

Booker repeated the question, and Pompeo tried to avoid answering it directly, stressing instead that he would respect every individual working at the State Department in the same way regardless of their sexual orientation. He said a long list of punitive actions taken under Trump show the USA takes the threat from Russian Federation seriously, adding that "we need to push back in each place we confront them", including the economic and cyber arenas.

On Iran, he was expected to tell senators that he will work with USA allies to fix the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, which Mr Trump has threatened to withdraw from.

The Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal are among the dozens of LGBT and civil rights organizations that have come out against Pompeo's nomination because of his previous statements against homosexuality, marriage rights for same-sex couples, Muslims and other issues. Nonetheless, he affirmed that he won't help staying in over the long term besides further restrictions are positioned on Tehran.

At the hearing, Pompeo also rejected reports that he was a hardliner or a hawk, saying that "there's no one like someone who has served in uniform who understands the value of diplomacy and the terror and tragedy that is war".

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