Senate confirms Pompeo to lead State Department

Senate confirms Pompeo to lead State Department


WASHINGTON – The Senate on Thursday confirmed CIA Director Michael  Pompeo as Secretary of State.

The upper chamber approved the nomination in a 57-42 vote.

All Republicans voted yes as did seven Democrats.

Earlier this week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-9 to favorably recommend Pompeo.

Pompeo has been criticized by civil liberties groups for supporting the detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay as well as backing what some describe as invasive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. Pompeo has suggested support for the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorist suspects.

At his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Pompeo pushed back against suggestions that he it is too hawkish. Pompeo told the committee he believes military force “is the last resort” and “must always be so.”

Many Democrats praised Pompeo last week when it was revealed that he had secretly met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ahead of a scheduled summit with President Donald Trump.

Pompeo is expected to sworn-in later today and is scheduled to attend a NATO conference in Brussels on Friday.

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