Senate Panel Reacts to Pompeo's N. Korea Trip

White House presses Senate to confirm Pompeo as secretary of state

But it didn't appear to improve his chances among Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrats who are considering his nomination to Secretary of State.

As Corker spoke on Wednesday, the top Democrat on Foreign Relations, Robert Menendez, was giving a speech in Washington announcing that he would not vote for Pompeo.

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin On Pompeo There are questions about whether CIA Director Mike Pompeo can earn enough support to be confirmed as secretary of state.

If Pompeo's confirmation succeeds through the same route, Cotton told reporters, "that puts Pompeo in pretty good company".

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was glad the administration was engaging in precursory negotiations before the two leaders meet in coming months. "I'm open to meeting right now and we'll see what happens in the meeting", he said, adding that no date has been set.

"The preparation, certainly, is welcome - there's no way that Donald Trump should go into that meeting without a lot of groundwork being laid", Sen.

Former Obama undersecretary of state Ellen Tauscher thinks Democrats who supported Pompeo a year ago can oppose him now. He received a favorable recommendation from the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, and he was confirmed by the full Senate in a 66-32 vote.

Republicans said they would take the nomination to a vote by the entire Senate anyway, in a rarely used manoeuvre they predict would result in approval of the president's choice for top diplomat.

Other Democrats echoed the notion that Pompeo would prioritize military solutions over diplomatic negotiations. Chris Coons of DE, said he is "leaning against" Pompeo's nomination, adding that his office is getting calls from constituents who are against Pompeo by a 50-to-1 margin. Several holdouts remain, however, including a mix of red state and centrist senators, including Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican leader, said the possibility of an unfavorable panel vote is growing, but he also said that Pompeo is likely to clear the full chamber.

The Republican camp seemed mostly pleased with Pompeo's trip, seeing it as a sign Trump was moving the ball forward on negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, which this administration frames as one of the top threats to USA national security.

Mr. Pompeo finished first in his class at West Point and first in his class at Harvard Law School. Pompeo met directly with Kim, who since taking power in 2011 has ramped up the country's nuclear weapons program despite overwhelming global condemnation.

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