Booker Grills Pompeo on Gay Marriage Opposition: 'Is Being Gay a Perversion?'

Muslim lawmakers call on senators to oppose Pompeo

Muslim lawmakers call on senators to oppose Pompeo

Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration's nominee to lead the State Department, told senators on the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday he has cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Given his tight-knit relationship with President Donald Trump, Democrats wanted to know whether he can put partisan politics aside.

Trump forged a warm relationship with Pompeo during White House meetings over the first year of his presidency and has said he feels the former Republican congressman shares more of his view of the world than Tillerson, who at times disagreed with the president.

But he refused to engage with Shaheen's questions about Mueller's investigation.

Pompeo is expected to say that as he met with State Department workers recently, they all said they wanted to be "empowered in their roles" and clear about Trump's mission.

The hawkish spymaster will also defend Washington's diplomatic efforts with Moscow, something Trump's critics have been frustrated with.

Pompeo didn't respond to the latter question, but said he shared the president's view that the Paris accords place "an undue burden" on the U.S. In contrast, Tillerson did not even speak with his immediate predecessor, John F. Kerry, before he arrived on the job.

He added that there's room for diplomacy: "We need China to help us to convince Kim it's not in his interest to go down that path". "I intend to ensure that the Department of State will be just as central to the president's policies and the national security of the United States".

Writing ahead of Pompeo's Senate hearing on Wednesday, The Intercept's Ryan Grim noted that the GOP only holds a one-member advantage in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and "with Sen".

Pompeo, seen as a close ally of Trump's, has faced criticism for his foreign policy views and his hawkish attitude toward countries hostile to the US, like Iran and North Korea.

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He asked those on the committee to examine Mr. Pompeo's nomination on the merits alone.

"We support a well-crafted use-of-force resolution against Syria and urge the president to take decisive, effective military action", Pompeo wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post at the time. "My respect for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, is the same".

"Our administration has developed a strategy to counter Iran to raise that cost", Pompeo said.

Pompeo, who after 15 months at the Central intelligence Agency was nominated by Trump to replace secretary of state Rex Tillerson, declined to give details of his conversations with Mueller investigators, or confirm any discussions with Trump on the Russian Federation probe.

Pompeo first says that he did not "recall" whether or not Trump asked him about the probe being led by Mueller. Still, he affirmed that he won't support staying in over the long term unless more restrictions are placed on Tehran.

"In the event that we conclude that we can't fix this deal ... then the President is going to be given best advice including by me", Pompeo said.

Trump has vowed to pull the US out of the accord unless Congress and America's European allies find a way to revamp the deal by May 12.

Since being nominated last month, Pompeo has spent much of his time at the State Department immersing himself in briefing books and undergoing mock hearings and prep meetings on key issues like Iran, Syria and North Korea, as well as the inner workings of the State Department, a person close to Pompeo said.

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