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The Latest: Protesters interrupt as Pompeo hearing begins

Mike Pompeo
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

Protesters are interrupting the start of current CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s hearing in the Senate to be the next secretary of state.

The protesters chanted “No Pompeo” and “No more war.” One interrupted Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’ opening statement.

The protesters appear to be associated with the Code Pink movement. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker is warning there may be arrests if protesters are disruptive.

The interruptions come as Pompeo’s hearing to be top diplomat gets underway. Senators are expected to question him for many hours throughout the day.

Just before the hearing, President Donald Trump wished Pompeo good luck on Twitter. Trump says: “He will be a great Secretary of State!”

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12:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s pick to be secretary of state is declaring that years of soft U.S. policy toward Russia are over and vowing to promote democracy and human rights while ending “demoralizing” vacancies at the State Department.

Mike Pompeo is set to appear Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Now serving as Trump’s CIA director, the former Kansas congressman has been nominated to replace Rex Tillerson as America’s top diplomat.

In prepared remarks for his Senate confirmation, Pompeo chastises Russia for acting “aggressively” and emphasizes that the Trump administration considers Russia “a danger to our country.” But he also says that diplomatic efforts with Moscow, while challenging, “must continue.”

Pompeo also stresses America’s “duty to lead,” despite Trump’s own vows to put “America first.”

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