NEW: Former CIA Director Pompeo To Face Fiery Senate Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: A large photo of Kathryn "Kate" Steinle who was killed by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco, is shown while her dad Jim Steinle testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, July 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from family members who have had loved ones killed by illegal immigrants. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On Thursday, President Trump’s new Secretary of State nominee, former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, will look to be confirmed to the post following a hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Pompeo would be the first CIA Director ever to make the transition to the head of the State Department.

As ABC News reports, Pompeo could face a series of difficult questioning from Democrats on the committee who “have vowed to question Pompeo, known for his hawkish views, where he stands on major policy issues including military action in Syria, a nuclear summit with North Korea and the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran.”

Committee Chairman Bob Corker previously said his committee would move through Pompeo’s confirmation process as “expeditiously as possible.”

Here’s more from the report:

Pompeo can also expect questions on his character and his qualifications. Democrats have been quick to point out that his former role as the nation’s top spy is notably different from what would be required of him as the nation’s top diplomat.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who met with Pompeo on Monday, was asked by reporters if he came away from their meeting thinking Pompeo was well-versed in world affairs. Cardin simply responded: “No.”

“In a couple areas, he professed he did not know the current status,” Cardin said, but he went on to say Pompeo was knowledgeable about intelligence issues, and that he hasn’t had much time to get up to speed.

Most Democrats have already announced they will not support Pompeo’s confirmation. At least one Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, has also said he is voting “no.”

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With Paul’s promise to vote against Pompeo, it is unclear whether or not the Foreign Relations panel will have enough votes to favor his confirmation. Approval from the committee certainly goes a long way with the confirmation vote by the full Senate, but in rare cases, candidates not approved by 21-member panel have gone to still receive a confirmation vote by the full Senate.

Should Pompeo be confirmed to the post, he would replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

Trump ousted Tillerson thanks to a fraught relationship further marred by disagreements on major foreign policy issues involving Iran, North Korea, climate and trade, as well as reports that Tillerson had called the president a “moron.”

Meanwhile, Pompeo and Trump are fast friends.

While serving as CIA director, Trump requested Pompeo to give him his intelligence briefings in person multiple times per week.

Pompeo, who served as a member of the House prior to being named CIA director, was confirmed by the Senate in 2017 in a 66-32 vote, with a majority of Democrats voting against him.

“Good luck to Mike Pompeo during his Confirmation Hearing today. He will be a great Secretary of State!” President Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.


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