U.S. Senate committee approved nomination of Pompeo to become top U.S. diplomat

Vastavam web: A 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.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.

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.

Paul’s late switch meant Pompeo avoided the embarrassment of being the first nominee for secretary of state to fail to secure the committee’s endorsement since it began considering them in the late 19th century.That would have weakened Pompeo’s reputation internationally and cast a cloud over Trump’s push to overhaul his national security team after firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, with John Bolton, also known as a hawk.