Pompeo 'humbled' to serve as secretary of state

27 April, 2018, 12:06 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Mike Pompeo may speak like a tea party tub-thumper but he deserves a chance

At this critical point, on Friday, April 20, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota announced that she would support Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state, thus assuring the 50 votes needed for confirmation.

The confirmation enabled Pompeo to represent the USA to attend an upcoming NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels, and would facilitate his communication with North Korea to lay the groundwork for President Donald Trump's direct talks with top Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump, while congratulating Pompeo, said, "Having a patriot of Mike's vast talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history".

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says that Alito, an Italian-American, "was proud to swear in the first Italian-American secretary of state". He has my trust.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Pompeo said he was "completely humbled by the responsibility" of his new post. "I know that Mike Pompeo will serve our nation with distinction and will do an outstanding job for the American people".

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Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, is expected to guide Trump's foreign policy farther to the right than Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO fired by Trump on Twitter last month.

A former U.S. Army officer and Republican congressman who served for the past 15 months as Central Intelligence Agency director, Pompeo is regarded as a loyal supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump who shares Trump's hawkish world views.

As he left Washington on Thursday, the State Department said Pompeo would also visit Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel during the weekend.

He insisted his focus will be on diplomatic solutions to problems, while pledging to bring "swagger once again" to the State Department.

Opponents also anxious that Pompeo was too hawkish, and said his past remarks about homosexuals and Islam made him unsuitable to represent the United States on the world stage.

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He graduated first in his class at the elite US Military Academy at West Point, and later earned a law degree from Harvard.

Iran is likely to be on the agenda on the Middle East leg of his trip.

Pompeo has been deeply engaged in the administration's efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang.

Pompeo will also press members of the alliance to increase their military budgets to meet a target of 2 per cent of economic output on defence every year by 2024, the official said. Both Pompeo and Bolton have called for war against Iran and North Korea.

His presence at NATO was seen as crucial as the alliance prepares for a July 11-12 summit in Brussels where NATO leaders are set to agree a stronger deterrent to Moscow, including a special command to defend the Atlantic in the case of conflict. "His efforts to come to Brussels tonight shows America's commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our Allies and Partners", she said.

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