Mike Pompeo, ‘A Highly Qualified Nominee’

Sen. Burr: ‘Somebody’s Going To Be Hard-Pressed To Show Me Anything That’s A Disqualifier Other Than Politics’


Sen. Corker: ‘We’re Much Better As A Nation Having Mike Pompeo As Secretary Of State’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Here is a man who -- through mastery of the daily briefings he receives, counsel on our nation’s most sensitive intelligence activities, and proven leadership in returning our CIA to the aggressive gathering of foreign intelligence -- has inspired the confidence of not only the national clandestine service, but also the Commander-in-Chief. Hallmarks of Mike’s leadership are listening, trusting career staff, acting decisively, and treating everyone fairly…. [I]n confirming Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, the Senate can ensure the nation has a chief diplomat who enjoys the complete confidence of the president.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/19/2018)

SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman: “I view Mike Pompeo as a highly qualified nominee. I spent a lot of time with him privately on the phone. He did, I thought, an excellent job in his hearing…. He served his country. He’s been in the private sector…. He was a congressman. And now he has distinguished himself with his service as director of the C.I.A., by the way, in a position that I know many of my Democratic friends have lavished praise on him because of his transparency and honesty in dealing with them but also just the way that he has built an excellent culture there…. I hope that the members on the other side of the aisle that have not yet said how they are going to vote will think about the circumstances that we’re in today and feel like that they can support a highly qualified Secretary of State … I hope that people will think about this and realize that we’re much better as a nation having Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State than not having him as Secretary of State and will vote aye on the floor.” (Sen. Corker, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

  • SEN. CORKER: “[M]y Democratic friends, who know that … the base, if you will, on the Left, will view this as a proxy vote in support of Trump, obviously are finding ways to not vote for him. This is very much against any kind of tradition that we’ve had here…. [A]nd there’s nothing in Pompeo’s past that, in any way, could possibly disqualify him from getting an up or down vote on the floor. And it should be overwhelming … I would just say to you and to everybody listening, and certainly my Democratic friends, are you kidding me? You don’t want someone like Mike Pompeo to go in with somebody like Secretary Mattis and ensure that the right kind of advice is given to our president … ?” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 4/19/2018)

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman: “I think by all accounts, those of us who serve on the Intelligence Committee, those people within the Intelligence Community, but more importantly our partners around the world, in a very short period of time, have gained unbelievable respect for Mike Pompeo…. I’ve just described to you the background of Mike Pompeo. Somebody’s going to be hard-pressed to show me anything that’s a disqualifier other than politics.” (Sen. Burr, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

  • SEN. BURR: “Let me remind my colleagues, we just confirmed him for his post. So he’s already been confirmed to serve in the administration in one of the most challenging jobs, the CIA Director. And for some reason people now find him that he’s not qualified to be the Secretary of State? What could it be other than politics that comes into play? I’m here to attest to my colleagues: Mike Pompeo is a good man.” (Sen. Burr, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “Mike Pompeo has the intelligence, the integrity, and the experience to serve as America’s secretary of State. As a former member of Congress, he understands how policy decisions get made – and the key importance of congressional oversight. As head of the CIA, he understands the crucial role that the intelligence community plays in preserving America’s national security. As a soldier and West Point graduate, he understands the consequences of decisions that get made in Washington, D.C. And as a Harvard-trained lawyer, he understands and respects the rule of law. Mike knows the issues, he knows the people, and he is the right person for this job. He will be an excellent representative for our nation, and a seasoned veteran to implement President Trump’s foreign policy.” (Sen. Barrasso, Op-Ed, “Mike Pompeo is the right man for the State Department,” The Hill,  4/19/2018)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “We have somebody in Mike Pompeo with a solid background, an understanding of diplomacy and, clearly, the intelligence background through his time at the CIA, and now he would be denied this opportunity simply because of his political affiliation. This country deserves better. I urge my colleagues to stop this absurd obstruction and confirm Mike Pompeo, and let’s get to work achieving what could be lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.” (Sen. Gardner, Congressional Record, S. 2249, 4/18/2018)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “I don’t think you have to agree with Mike Pompeo. You most certainly don’t have to feel that he’s the person you would have picked if you were president. But you need to recognize you’re not president. And none of us here are the president. The president deserves to have a team of people that he trusts and can work with who are qualified. I do not believe anyone can argue that Mike Pompeo is not qualified.” (Sen. Rubio, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

  • SEN. RUBIO: “Hillary Clinton was nominated and confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 2. And I promise you that a significant number of the members on my side of the aisle may have respected Secretary Clinton but strongly disagreed with her and her views on a number of issues but nonetheless felt that the president deserved to have his nominee.” (Sen. Rubio, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “Mike Pompeo is a friend…. [O]ne of the things I would want to come back to say is, meet him. You are going to find a fine leader who is dedicated to help our nation. Who has done it on the battlefield, who has done it as a representative, who has done it as the director of the CIA, and will do an incredible job helping us diplomatically world-wide in the State Department. I’m looking forward to supporting his nomination. Not because I’m a Republican and it’s a Republican nomination but because he is a quality individual that genuinely wants to help the country.” (Sen. Lankford, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK):Probably in terms of an individual in Washington, D.C. that has insights on what’s going on around the world in terms of our national security challenges, there’s probably no one who has more insights on this than [CIA Director] Mike Pompeo, right now. There is no doubt by any measure, by any standard, historical standard, when you look at our previous secretaries of state, Mike Pompeo is well qualified. He’s well qualified. But there is talk -- and I hope it’s only talk -- that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are going to en masse vote against him. Mr. President, this would be getting into some dangerous territory for the United States as a country. As I mentioned, the tradition in this body is to vote to support the president’s secretary of state, particularly if he or she is a well-qualified individual.” (Sen. Sullivan, Floor Remarks, 4/19/2018)



Related Issues: Nominations, National Security