The Latest: Sen. Rand Paul now ready to support Pompeo

Mike Pompeo
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the nomination of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Sen. Rand Paul says he now supports Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

The Kentucky Republican announced his position after talking with President Donald Trump moments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was set to consider the nominee. Pompeo hasn’t had sufficient support from the panel for a favorable recommendation, but Paul’s support could change that outcome.

Paul says on Twitter that after talking with Trump and meeting with the nominee he received assurances that Pompeo believes the Iraq war “was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region, and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan.”

With those assurances, the senator says he has “decided to support his nomination to be our next secretary of state.”

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3:40 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s looking forward to voting to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, later this week in the Senate.

McConnell is making the upbeat assessment after two more Democratic senators announced support for Pompeo, now the CIA director, despite steep opposition expected Monday evening at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The panel is unlikely to have the votes to give a favorable recommendation, but the nominee is expected to find wider support in the full Senate.

McConnell says that with Pompeo, “the United States will have a chief diplomat who enjoys the total confidence of the president.”

The Republican leader says he looks “forward to upholding the tradition of this body and voting to confirm him this week.”

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1:30 p.m.

Mike Pompeo’s nomination for secretary of state has received a boost because two Democratic senators announced they would support his confirmation before the full Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana both backed Pompeo when he was confirmed as CIA director. But other Democrats have been peeling away, and Pompeo is not likely to have enough support Monday for a favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Neither Manchin nor Donnelly is on the panel, but their votes will help push Pompeo’s nomination before the full Senate vote expected later this week.

Manchin says “during this sensitive diplomatic time, it’s important our next secretary of state understands the grave threats facing our nation and can offer diplomatic solutions to avoid conflict, as soon as possible.”

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9:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is attacking Democrats as he seeks Senate confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of State.

Trump says on Twitter Monday: “Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!”

Pompeo’s nomination faces serious opposition from key Democrats and at least one Republican. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee may not have enough votes to recommend him for confirmation.

The full Senate is still expected to consider Pompeo’s nomination later this week. But the rebuke from the panel would be the first time in years a nominee for the position did not receive a favorable vote.

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President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is facing serious opposition before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The panel may not have enough votes to recommend him for confirmation Monday as all Democrats, and at least one Republican, have said they will oppose him.

The full Senate is still expected to consider Pompeo’s nomination later this week. But the rare rebuke from the panel, even after Pompeo’s recent visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, would be the first time in years a nominee for the high-level Cabinet position did not receive a favorable vote.

The chairman of the committee, Republican Sen. Bob Corker, blames partisan politics for opposition to Pompeo, saying the CIA chief is just as qualified as past nominees for secretary of state.

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