Mike Pompeo, the present CIA director that is in heat to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary that state, is well-known for his nearby ties through President Trump.

WASHINGTON — Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director who President Donald Trump has picked to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary the state, is well-known for both his near ties with the president and also his prior career as a hard-charging partisan in Congress.

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“Tremendous energy, remarkable intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength,” Trump called reporters ~ above Tuesday. “The relationship has been an extremely good, and that’s what I require as secretary of state.”

As secretary of state, Pompeo will challenge the singularly an overwhelming task of maintaining his partnership with Trump without alienating Democrats and also allies elsewhere, reviving a State room demoralized by a year that upheaval, and managing it s too dirty standoffs through North Korea, Iran and Russia.


Pompeo was elected to conference from Kansas as component of the tea party tide in 2010 after ~ a career in the Army, where he i graduated from West allude and became a mounties officer, and as a businessman. In Congress, he emerged a rapport v Republicans working on intelligence and also played a prominent role in the select Committee top top Benghazi, which investigated the terrorist attack there in 2012, providing him a base of support on Capitol Hill.

His resume and demeanor have served him well within the administration, observers claimed Tuesday, helping him develop trust v a president who has a habit that injecting politics into institutions like legislation enforcement and intelligence that typically labor to prevent it.

“A many it is the tea party connection,” Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, who operated with Pompeo ~ above the Trump transition team, said NBC News. “Pompeo’s very own views space sympathetic through or resonate v Trump’s project promises in a means that Tillerson’s walk not.”

At the same time, Pompeo has earned a reputation for getting together with career employee at the CIA, preventing a trouble that plagued Tillerson at the State Department, where the nation"s optimal diplomat left countless positions unfilled and clashed with the currently bureaucracy, presiding end a tide of exit by job foreign service officials.

“He’s viewed as is gift a decent manager of the building, but additionally deeply ideology system on specific issues,” Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow and director that the Middle east Security regime at the center for a brand-new American Security, stated of Pompeo.

Many the Trump’s own international policy views have been responsible to change with the wind, however Pompeo’s ideology system bent as a conservative hawk appears to fit v the president"s instincts for this reason far.

This can be specifically relevant once it pertains to Iran, where Trump is threatening to leave the nuclear transaction negotiated under president Barack Obama uneven America’s allies and Congress add new conditions and enforcement measures. Pompeo is considered an ext hostile to the transaction than Tillerson, i beg your pardon Trump singled out as a significant reason for the room change.


“When friend look in ~ the Iran deal, i think it"s terrible. Ns guess thought it was OK,” Trump claimed on Tuesday. “I wanted to either rest it or carry out something, and also he feeling a small bit differently”.

Their mutual political views can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, the State department becomes more relevant if the secretary is taken into consideration a nearby confidant that the president. Trump periodically undermined Tillerson in public, also mocking on Twitter his efforts to negotiate with North Korea.

“If people perceive you aren’t speaking because that the president, prefer Rex, climate it damages your prestige,” stated Michael Allen, a nationwide security main under president George W. Shrub who worked with Pompeo as staff director because that the house Intelligence Committee. “Everyone will know if Pompeo speaks, he’s speaking because that the president.”

But a call for political war and personal loyalty to the president could make Pompeo a much more divisive figure, especially with Democrats, who he might need to help confirm nominees and implement international policy priorities.

“If the is a full partisan, climate that’s no going to be good,” Sen. Invoice Nelson, D-Fla., told reporters. “The secretary the state need to be who who has the understand of the United says first.”

Senator kris Murphy, D-Conn. Expressed concern that Pompeo would encourage Trump"s much more confrontational impulses in foreign affairs.

"I recognize Mike, I favor him, however he to be not well-known on Capitol Hill together someone who was willing to champion American diplomacy end American armed forces power," Murphy said NBC News on Tuesday.

So far, Pompeo has managed to distance himself from some controversial trump stances without shedding the president’s affection. Many notably, he reiterated the knowledge community’s conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, and also has warned that it will likely do the exact same in 2018 — a stance that could calm democrats worried about Trump"s reluctance to confront Moscow over the issue.


But Pompeo has likewise put a much more Trump-friendly spin on the situation, in ~ one suggest saying Russia’s info warfare campaign ”did not affect the outcome of the election” — giving a confident opinion top top a concern the intelligence community had not assessed. ~ his remarks, the CIA itself listed that the agency"s conclusions had actually not changed.

During the campaign, Pompeo tweeted the end a attach to a conservative site cultivating hacked DNC emails post by Wikileaks, i m sorry the intelligence ar later determined as a conduit for Russia"s election scheme. Pompeo turned off the post and later denounced Wikileaks together a "hostile knowledge service" in a decided in April critical year.

“I know Pompeo to it is in a Russia hawk,” Allen said. “I think that because the president has actually confidence in him, the will help him inform the president’s views on Russia.”

Pompeo could confront an prompt test on that front. British prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia that poisoning an ex-spy and also his daughter in England through a nerve agent, yet the president has actually been cynical so much to expropriate the ally’s conclusions. Tillerson, however, told reporters on Monday that the poison strike “clearly” come from Russia and “certainly will cause a response” from allies.

All of these worries are likely to come increase in Pompeo’s confirmation hearings, whereby senators will likely to be eager to probe for any kind of differences through Trump and also seek assurances that Pompeo will certainly respond to any type of wrongdoing by Russia.

Last time around, he demonstrated some ability to traction bipartisan support. Fourteen Senate democrats voted to confirm Pompeo together CIA director, while one Republican, rand Paul that Kentucky, voted “no.” The chairman the the Senate foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., claimed Tuesday the would organize hearings ~ above Pompeo’s meeting in April.

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Senate majority Whip john Cornyn, R-Texas, called reporters he to be “confident” Pompeo would certainly be confirmed, though he warned legislators were dealing with a complicated schedule ahead in vetting both a new secretary of state and also a brand-new CIA manager in Gina Haspel, a career intelligence official who was preferred by the chairman Tuesday come head the agency.

“I host Mike Pompeo in high regard," Cornyn said, but “with whatever else we need to do around here, having actually the possibility of two additional fights, perhaps, is walk to it is in a challenge.”