Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday that the confirmation of Mike Pompeo to the secretary of state post will likely be contentious.
“I can just sense that it’s becoming slightly more partisan on these issues. 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,” Mr. Corker, Tennessee Republican, said on Fox News.
He blamed the upcoming midterm election race, saying that he can already tell the politics of issues, including confirmation hearings, are likely to be more combative. Mr. Corker chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that will oversee the hearing set for April.
Mr. Corker announced last year that he plans to retire at the end of his term. He and Mr. Trump engaged in a heated exchange both on social media and in the press, but the senator said that they’ve put that behind them to proceed on issues.
The White House said Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo’s “distinguished career” as CIA director includes working to stop Russia from meddling in Democratic elections.
“Director Pompeo has worked with European partners to combat threats to election integrity posed by Russia in the United States and across Europe,” the White House said.
Mr. Pompeo also “has focused much-needed public attention on non-state hostile intelligence services like WikiLeaks, which seek to obtain and disseminate America’s secrets, jeopardizing our national security personnel and operations,” the statement said.
The White House said his other accomplishments in slightly more than one year at the CIA include providing the president with “a high-confidence assessment” that Syria was using chemical weapons against its people, paving the way for U.S. missile strikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He has also played a “critical role” in providing intelligence to shape Mr. Trump’s policy on China, and has been a key player in confronting North Korea and Iran, the White House said.
“Under Director Pompeo, the CIA has established mission centers focused specifically on North Korea and Iran to counter the threats both countries pose to the United States, our allies, and regional and global stability,” the statement said.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this story.
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