Never advocated for regime change in Pyongyang: Trump's SoS nominee Pompeo

Hannah Rogers
April 13, 2018

During his confirmation hearing, which was expected to run for several hours on Wednesday, Pompeo also criticised China's assertive territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, as well as Russia's expansionism in Ukraine and Georgia.

"Will you enable President Trump's worst instincts?" asked Sen.

Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday that he hasn't given the matter any thought.

"I spoke with special counsel Mueller, who interviewed me", Pompeo said in his testimony before the committee, which is considering his nomination.

If confirmed, Pompeo would replace Rex Tillerson, who was one of the shortest-serving secretaries of state. In his opening statement, Pompeo signaled that he planned to harvest a forceful diplomacy.

The committee has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, and Republican Rand Paul has already expressed his opposition to Pompeo, for the latter's support of the Iraq war and his aggressive posture against Iran.

"It is the last resort, it must always be so".

"I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that, but I'm confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election (and) that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won't be great", Pompeo told the BBC in January.

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Pompeo - who once hinted he would not be bothered if North Korea's Kim were assassinated - was asked whether he favours United States military action to overthrow the nuclear weapon-armed government in Pyongyang.

"I can see all you people up there". The two sparred in an exchange about what Pompeo has claimed is a "special obligation" that falls on Muslim leaders when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks in America. "He's never asked me to do anything that I considered remotely improper".

During an appearance at the Aspen Security Conference in July 2017 however, Pompeo told an audience that while it would be "a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula", the USA should seek to break "every piece" of the North Korean problem.

He asked those on the committee to examine Mr. Pompeo's nomination on the merits alone. "I intend to achieve the president's protection by diplomacy barely than by sending our youthful men and women to warfare", he said. He did, however, argue that should President Trump take military action directly against the Assad government in response to new allegations of chemical weapons use, and that congressionally-approved authorization for military force is unnecessary. Pompeo represented Kansas' 4th Congressional District from 2011-2017. Bob Menendez of New Jersey concerning conversations he might have had with Trump about FBI Director James Comey before Trump fired Comey.

Pompeo kicked off his remarks to the panel with a reminder to lawmakers that, as a former congressman, he understands the important oversight role of Congress. The issue of Russian interference and Russian aggression in general will be a high priority for the next Secretary of State.

The senators' insistence that the State Department be on the same foreign policy page as the president referred back to the relationship between Trump and Tillerson, who often contradicted each other.

During Thursday's hearing, Sen.

From there, the fireworks persisted with Pompeo insisting that he worked alongside same-sex couples at the Central Intelligence Agency and treated them with respect, and Booker continued to hammer away at him while asking, "Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion?".

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