The Senate easily confirmed President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA Monday night, installing a House Republican into the post after a temporary delay of the vote by Democrats critical of government surveillance programs.

The Senate vote means Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., will take over an agency that has been in the political spotlight for two months, due to the ongoing analysis of Russian cyberattacks and leaks targeting the Democratic party during the 2016 presidential election. Trump has complained that political leaders at the agency were trying to undermine him with leaks, but he assured the CIA that it was receiving “a gem” of a leader in Pompeo.

“I met Mike Pompeo, and it was the only guy I met,” Trump said during a speech at Langley. “Everything he’s done has been a home run. People like him, but much more importantly to me, everybody respects him.”

Pompeo, a fourth-term congressman, has served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the select committee that investigated the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. He was also one of three lawmakers to form a task force probing whistleblower allegations that senior leaders at U.S. Central Command modified intelligence reports to present a rose-colored view of the Islamic State before the terrorist group overran several cities in Iraq and Syria.

Republicans had hoped his confirmation vote would be Friday, but Senate Democrats, led by a prominent critic of government surveillance policies, delayed the vote.

“No CIA director in history has ever been confirmed on Inauguration Day,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and two other Democrats said in a Friday. “The importance of the position of CIA director, especially in these dangerous times, demands that the nomination be thoroughly vetted, questioned and debated.”

Despite that demand, Democrats used little of the six hours of debate set Monday for Pompeo’s nomination. Instead, Obamacare was discussed on the Senate floor, and senators in the end agreed to end debate early and start the vote at around 7 p.m., instead of 9 p.m.

The delay angered Republicans, who believed they’d had a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to vote on the nomination when the Senate confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Schumer agreed not to hold up Pompeo in exchange for Republicans agreeing to reschedule his hearing, for the convenience of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

When the debate finally took place, Pompeo enjoyed some Democratic support.

House set for rematch on abortion

Also from the Washington Examiner

Legislation advanced Monday night that would permanently restrict federal funding for abortions.

01/23/17 7:02 PM

“I want to make clear that Congressman Pompeo has committed to following the law with respect to torture,” said Feinstein, who was the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the last Congress. “Additionally, he has promised to put aside his previous political considerations and he is committed to providing the president and the Congress with independent, objective intelligence analysis. I certainly and others certainly intend to hold him to these commitments.”

President Trump flexes the power of the White House

Top Story

President Trump used Monday to change the subject of the national political conversation.

01/23/17 5:37 PM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply