- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mike Pompeo, the outgoing CIA director President Trump has nominated to be his next secretary of state, will go before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday for his confirmation hearing, committee Chairman Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, announced Tuesday morning.

The hearing comes just a few days after Congress returned from its Easter recess and reflects the urgency of filling the nation’s top diplomatic post at a time when Mr. Trump is dealing with foreign policy crises in the Middle East, Russia and North Asia.

Mr. Pompeo, a West Point graduate and former Republican congressman from Kansas, would replace Rex Tillerson, who lasted barely a year in the job before being fired. The former ExxonMobil chairman had a frosty relationship with President Trump and weak support from his own department as he tried to push through a controversial reorganization plan.

But Mr. Pompeo, despite a much closer relationship with the president, could face a tough confirmation battle, with libertarian Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, threatening to vote with committee Democrats against Mr. Pompeo, setting up a fight on the Senate floor for Mr. Trump’s choice.

Politico reported Tuesday that Mr. Pompeo has reached out to his two Democratic predecessors — Hillary Clinton and John Kerry — among others as he prepares for the confirmation fight.

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