Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, Dc, United States (4E) – It did not go well for Mike Pompeo, the uncertain future Secretary of State.
Senate Democrats tore into Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State during his confirmation hearing on April 12, leaving as dark cloud hanging over his confirmation. They remained unconvinced Pompeo has the moral will to say “No” to Trump, and will instead wind-up another “Yes Man” like Michael Cohen falling over himself to do the president’s bidding no matter how outlandish.
The current CIA director time and again refused to answer questions from Democrats related to the ongoing Russia investigation. He was challenged to break with Trump but refused to do so, and Democrats voiced concerns he’d be too deferential to Trump as Secretary of State.
As expected, Pompeo’s past record went over well with Republicans on the panel who praised his government and military record. The sad truth, however, is the hostility of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) incapacitated and receiving treatment for cancer, Pompeo will need support from all Democrats in the panel to win confirmation. That possibility now seems remote given the animosity Pompeo engendered among Democrats with his bobbing and weaving to avoid painful questions. Not a single one of the 10 Democrats on the panel currently supports Pompeo, even those that voted for him as CIA Director.
If all Democrats in the committee join Paul in voting against Pompeo, it will be an 11-10 vote to dismiss him. Paul has publicly stated he opposes Pompeo’s nomination because of the latter’s support for the Iraq War and his position supporting torture.
Besides his fawning attitude towards Trump, Pompeo is being faulted for his warmongering tendency. Pompeo repeatedly harped on his preference for negotiations over war, but even this olive branch failed to mollify Democrats. The fear is that Pompeo aligned with hawkish national security adviser John Bolton will make it likelier to involve the U.S. in a war against Russia in the Middle East.
“Every day at the forefront of our mind is how can we find solutions that achieve the American objective but avoid us having to put a single American in harm’s way,” answered Pompeo when asked if Trump is assembling a “War Cabinet.”
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