Lawmakers want US Sec of State nominee to stand up to Trump

Pompeo confiirmation hearing

Pompeo confiirmation hearing

Among the first issues Mr Pompeo was pressed on was whether Mr Trump spoke to him about the investigation looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Referring to what will be the first direct engagement between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader, the Central Intelligence Agency chief said Trump is committed to "achieve denuclearisation and prevent America from being held at risk by a North Korean arsenal of nuclear weapons".

"We need a credible Secretary of State, not one hobbled by a history of anti-Muslim sentiment and discrimination", they wrote in the letter.

"Any time we have a person who is supposed to head the diplomatic relations of our nation who is overtly anti-Muslim, that can not bode well for our country's foreign policy", Walid told Middle East Eye. "Will you stand up to President Trump and advise him differently when he's wrong?"

The CIA chief was also peppered with questions regarding his personal views on national security policies, particularly as they relate to North Korea and Iran.

He also said that despite his hawkish reputation, he values diplomacy. "The chasm between what our leaders say and the actions that they take can have a devastating impact", he said, noting inaction in 2013 in Syria when Assad used chemical weapons and the US didn't respond. Mr Trump has said he will abandon the accord by May 12th, if his team can not fix what Mr Pompeo described as its "most egregious flaws".

That's not to say that questions about Mueller are entirely irrelevant to Pompeo, however. He said Saudi Arabia had reason to worry about Iran having nuclear capabilities, even though he'd earlier admitted that there is no evidence that Iran is violating the terms of the deal.

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Throughout the hearing, he drew a sharp contrast between himself and Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil who Trump unceremoniously fired last month. Sanctions waivers that would preserve the deal are up for renewal in May. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on conversations he was reported to have had with Trump about FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. He added that Mr Pompeo had been "very smart" about preparing for the job and seeking to reassure the "neglected" rank and file.

In his prepared remarks, he had warned that Russian Federation has been performing "aggressively" and represents a hazard to the U.S.

"Russia continues to act aggressively, enabled by years of soft policy toward that aggression", Pompeo says in his prepared remarks.

U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and U.S. Del. "That's why I think it's fair for our members to ask whether your relationship is rooted in a candid, healthy give-and-take dynamic or whether it's based on deferential willingness to go along to get along".

On Wednesday, Trump said in a tweet that "much of the bad blood" between the United States and Russia "is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia investigation".

On the listening to, Pompeo moreover rejected experiences that he was a hardliner or a hawk, saying that "there's no one like any individual who has served in uniform who understands the price of diplomacy and the worry and tragedy that is warfare". The Trump administration is embroiled in tensions on several continents, as the president has threatened missile strikes against Russian Federation in Syria, where Moscow is supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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