Tags: Trump Administration | bob corker | mike pompeo | confirmation | secretary of state | contentious

Sen. Corker: Pompeo Confirmation Likely to Be Contentious

(Fox News' "America's Newsroom")

By    |   Wednesday, 14 March 2018 03:22 PM

The process to confirm CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state will most likely be contentious, as politics will become even more partisan with the 2018 midterm election season arriving, Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday.

"I can just sense that it's becoming slightly more partisan on these issues," the Tennessee Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "I think he'll be confirmed, again, I don't know that much about him. I look forward to getting to know him, but we're moving into that season, the season we get into every two years. My guess is it will be somewhat contentious, but successful."

Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will oversee Pompeo's confirmation hearing.

The senator said he had a close relationship with fired Secretary Rex Tillerson, and thought he'd given President Donald Trump and others sound advice.

"I enjoyed working with him very much," Corker said. "I knew it wasn't perfect. The president and I talk often also and look, I knew the relationship was not perfect."

However, the senator said that since about the beginning of December, he thought Trump and Tillerson were starting to work together better.

"But look, the president is a very entrepreneurial person and picks up the phone and makes things happen, and Rex Tillerson is from Exxon and CEO and put plans in place for the longer term," said Corker. "I think there was just a clash of cultures. They had different views on things and ultimately the president needs to have a secretary of state he feels good about."

The senator said he and Pompeo have never crossed paths, even though Corker served in the House of Representatives for years.

"He's been more in the Intel area as head of CIA," said Corker. "I'm not sure we've even ever met but what I hear about him is, look, he's very smart. He obviously knows a lot about the world, being head of the CIA and I look forward to sitting down and talking with him. We had a nice conversation yesterday."

As Pompeo already has been confirmed for the CIA seat, his paperwork will have to be updated, said Corker, but he is hoping the confirmation proceedings will occur in April.

"We have a lot going on," he said. "We have the Iran deal and the president's considering what to do and the Europeans are working with our national security advisers and we have the North Korea meeting and a number of issues with Russia and China we need to deal with. Hopefully, both sides of the aisle will understand the importance of having a secretary of state in place and I hope it goes very well."

Meanwhile, Corker said he does not know CIA veteran Gina Haspel, who has been nominated to head the agency, at all.

"I couldn't pick her out of a lineup," he said. "I've never met her and don't know anything about her other than the reporting that's occurred in the last 24 hours."

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The process to confirm CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state will most likely be contentious, as politics will become even more partisan with the 2018 midterm election season arriving, Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday.
bob corker, mike pompeo, confirmation, secretary of state, contentious
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2018-22-14
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 03:22 PM
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