Pompeo grilled over anti-LGBT statements during confirmation hearing

13 April, 2018, 06:13 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the Worldwide Threats Assessment Senate briefing Feb 13 2018

Pompeo answered by saying he treats gay couples who work at the Central Intelligence Agency with "the exact same set of rights" as anyone else.

Other senators asked Pompeo if he supported preventative, preemptive strikes in the country.

Tim Kaine (D-Va.), during the confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick to serve as next Secretary of State.

While critics say Trump has been too soft on Russia, Pompeo reassured senators Thursday that sanctions and other punitive actions carried out by the Trump administration show the president takes the Russian threat seriously.

Earlier, Booker had quizzed Pompeo on statements he'd made about American Muslim leaders being "potentially complicit" in terrorist attacks if they do not speak out against them.

"If there's no chance that we can fix it, I will recommend to the president that we work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and to achieve a better deal", Pompeo said. He lamented the "demoralizing" vacancies at the top echelons of the department during Tillerson's tenure and said he planned to fill those vacancies, asking the Senate's help to get nominees confirmed.

The hearing took place against the backdrop of increasing concern over whether Trump will fire Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and/or special counsel Robert Mueller who are investigating whether his campaign had any ties to Russia's interference with the 2016 election. Yesterday, he tweeted "Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been; there's no reason for this".

Pompeo said that much work is being done to prepare for the meeting and that the goal "is to develop an agreement with the North Korean leadership such that they will step away from its efforts to hold the U.S.at risk, completely and verifiably".

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"I share the president's view that we have a continued role there", Pompeo said.

"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. And I fear that Director Pompeo has no specific plan to rebuild the morale or strengthen the workforce at a State Department that has been hollowed out by this administration. "So, in turn, he has come to rely on us", Pompeo said.

In addition to military action already taken by the Trump administration against the Syrian government last April, the U.S. has also since at least 2013 armed and trained rebel groups committed to the toppling of Assad. "But I have to tell you, I'm with the president an very bad lot".

Pompeo enters the State Department following a massive gutting of the agency under outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and amid crises over nuclear proliferation with North Korea, multilateral agreements with Iran and grey-zone military aggression from Russian Federation. Pompeo responded that he thought Trump's course of action there has been the right one - that the USA has the goal of leaving but can't do so until there is more stability in the country.

"It depends, clearly, if we're close", Pompeo said.

A company Pompeo owned in Kansas imported Chinese oilfield equipment. A year after it was signed, he wrote that while the deal prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons for a few years, provisions in the deal that allow Iran to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial-scale in the future means that eventually it will be able to develop nuclear weapons.

And with Trump recently appointing hawkish conservative John Bolton as his national security advisor, Murphy said he wanted to scrutinize Pompeo over potential flashpoints like Korea and Syria.

"Our administration has developed a strategy to counter Iran that will raise that cost", he said. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Pompeo declined to provide any details about his advice.



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