On Monday evening, Kansas Republican Mike Pompeo was confirmed as the next director of the C.I.A. by the U.S. Senate, despite days of stalling and obstruction by Senate Democrats.
Pompeo’s confirmation was scheduled for late last week, but Democrat sniping forced the vote to be rescheduled for Monday. Still, despite the deal to reschedule, up to 25 Senators ultimately voted against the Congressman’s confirmation.
The Republican faced several contentious questions during his January 12 hearing but made no major missteps with his answers.
During the hearing, Pompeo said he would observe the proper laws forbidding enhanced interrogation of terror suspects and affirmed that he believes Russia is a threat to the United States. He also noted, however, that attempts to undermine President-elect Donald Trump play right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Even with the opposition by Democrats, Pompeo easily cleared the number needed to take his place in President Trump’s administration. The final vote saw some 24 Senators against the candidate, including Vermont independent Bernie Sanders and 22 Democrats. The lone Republican to oppose Pompeo was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
A four-term Congressman, Pompeo has a background in the military as well as military intelligence and graduated first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served in the Army and afterward graduated from Harvard Law.
Pompeo joined Secretary of State candidate Rex Tillerson, who was also confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday. Tillerson’s final vote is scheduled for next week.
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