Trump accuses Democrats of obstruction if Pompeo isn’t confirmed
President Trump on Monday slammed “obstructionist” members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee amid opposition to his pick of CIA chief Mike Pompeo for secretary of state.
“Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State,” the president tweeted Monday morning.
“The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!” he added.
Pompeo’s nomination faces stiff opposition from key Democrats and at least one Republican — and the committee may not have enough votes to recommend him for confirmation.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrats on the committee announced Sunday they will not support Pompeo as the top US diplomat when they vote late Monday, the Washington Examiner reported.
If they maintain their stances during the committee vote, Pompeo’s nomination will not have enough votes to be reported favorably to the full Senate, according to the Washington Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could still call for a floor vote later this week after overcoming some procedural hurdles. A full Senate vote is expected to be very close.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday urged Democrats to give the green light to Pompeo.
“They have to decide that they want to put the safety and the security and the diplomacy of our country ahead of their own political games, and we’re very hopeful that they will,” Sanders told Fox News.
“We certainly hope that some members will change their minds,” she added, pointing out that previous secretaries of state nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents were unanimously approved.
Sanders also suggested that Pompeo’s nomination would be vital for ongoing negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear ambitions ahead of a possible summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Pompeo recently made headlines for a hush-hush trip to the rogue regime to meet with Kim.
“To stop that would be incredibly dangerous and damaging for our country and for the world,” Sanders said.
If confirmed, Pompeo would be the first nominee to win a cabinet position without a committee endorsement since 1945, when Henry Wallace was confirmed to serve as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s commerce secretary, according to the Senate Historical Office.
With Post wires
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