Pompeo Vows to Boost State Dept., Confirms He 'Cooperated' With Mueller

Lawmakers to Hear From Pompeo, Mattis in Midst of Syria Crisis

But he said the president had never asked him to do anything improper.

But before the full Senate will vote on his confirmation, the Foreign Relations panel will also have to weigh in. "I've been involved in that investigation", Pompeo said.

Whether or not Pompeo wants to talk about that meeting - and what was said in it - is one thing.

Trump wished Pompeo well in the hearing in an early morning tweet, saying he "will be a great Secretary of State!" Trump also generally fumed about the Russian Federation investigation, which Comey had confirmed just two days prior. The list is pretty long, ma'am'. Still, although Trump has announced the U.S.is pulling out of the Paris global climate agreement, Pompeo said the State Department should be involved in global efforts to address global warming.

Meanwhile, 30 top former national security officials countered with a letter of their own supporting his confirmation, calling him a "strong choice" to be Trump's top diplomat.

He said sanctions against Russian Federation and the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine were evidence that Mr Trump's "national security strategy, rightfully, has identified Russian Federation as a danger to our country".

Pompeo told Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, that he could envision a ground invasion of North Korea if it was required to deal with a nuclear threat. In all of these cases, he aligned himself with the new tough policies of President Donald Trump.

The Senate is widely expected to confirm Mr Pompeo.

"I am not going to talk about private conversations I've had with the President", he said.

"I have read the Central Intelligence Agency histories of previous negotiations with the North Koreans, and am confident that we will not repeat the mistakes of the past", he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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Pompeo, who after 15 months at the Central intelligence Agency was nominated by Trump to replace secretary of state Rex Tillerson, declined to give details of his conversations with Mueller investigators, or confirm any discussions with Trump on the Russian Federation probe.

Trump continued to express his desire to pull out, though last week reportedly dropped his insistence for an immediate withdrawal on the objections of military leaders who cautioned that the job is not done there yet. With the administration proposing State Department budget cuts of 31 percent, fewer young people are being recruited to join the next generation of diplomats.

During questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo declined to discuss details of "private conversations" with Trump when asked if Trump had talked to him about the Russian Federation investigation, which includes probing possible collusion by Trump's campaign with Moscow.

Initially, Pompeo refused to answer the question, dismissing it as a hypothetical.

But Pompeo won't say what he spoke about with Mueller's team.

Booker then hit Pompeo for his association with Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of an anti-Islam organization that the Anti-Defamation League has called out for promoting "hateful conspiracy theories" about Muslims.

Pompeo also won't say whether Mueller's team asked him not to speak publicly about the contents of the interview.

Critics in both parties have looked on in alarm as the State Department's role in shaping and communicating USA policy faded during Tillerson's tenure.

Pompeo has made the rounds meeting senators including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, who noted their "very good meeting" but did not declare whether he would support him.


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