Outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo Takes Heat From Democrats Over Russia

Casey Dawson
April 13, 2018

Democratic senator Ben Cardin questions Michael Pompeo during a confirmation hearing on his appointment as U.S. secretary of state on April 12, 2018.

The outgoing CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, told lawmakers Thursday that the special counsel Robert Mueller interviewed him as part of the Russian Federation investigation.

Pompeo answered: 'Senator, I;m gonna give you the same answer i just gave you previously, my respect for every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, is the same'.

Trump chose Pompeo, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, after he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month, saying they disagreed over policies.

Pompeo is preparing to use the hearing to modify his hawkish reputation, and recast his relationship with senators anxious about steps he might take in dealing with a number of consequential choices and crises, including North Korea and Iran. The Left's Russian collusion conspiracy will not end with President Trump. At a time when our nation faces so many challenges overseas - and so much instability coming from the Trump White House - that is the opposite of what we need for this critical position.

Some 70 progressive advocacy groups and nonprofits sent a letter to the Senate urging them to reject Pompeo's nomination, citing his controversial past ties with advocacy groups perceived as anti-LGBT and Islamophobic.

Pompeo says that bolstering the Iran nuclear deal will be a priority if he's confirmed as the nation's top diplomat. Pompeo says bad behavior by Russian Federation is responsible for the poor relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Mattis says: 'I believe there was a chemical attack in Syria'
Recently, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon has vowed that Russia will shoot down any USA cruise missiles launched at Syria. Mattis was referring to worldwide investigating teams from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Pompeo urged people not to make "inferences", negative or positive, about his refusal to answer certain questions. This includes what critics call an incoherent Syria strategy, relations with Russia, Trump's upcoming meeting with North Korea, and his proposed trade tariffs on economic giants like China that have sparked fears of a trade war. "Even after May 12th, senator, there's still much diplomatic work to be done".

Pompeo was also asked whether he favors United States military action to overthrow the regime in North Korea, which has developed a nuclear arsenal that may soon threaten USA cities but has also invited Trump to a summit with its leader to discuss disarmament.

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration and its efforts to push back against Russian Federation.

Ariel Cohen of the Atlantic Council said, "I think Pompeo is more of a hawk, more of a Trumpian, more of this sort of new wave of what I would call American nationalism, and we see countries becoming more nationalistic all over the world".

"I take a back seat to no one" when it comes to standing up to Russia, Pompeo said. "Because that's what you said here in one of your speeches". "But I will tell you this, the article's suggestion that he asked me to do anything that was improper is false".

According to separate reports, Pompeo was later among several senior administration officials asked by Trump to contact media on his behalf to defend his image.

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