Pompeo Sworn in as US Secretary of State After Senate Confirmation

Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump’s nominee for secreta

The U.S. has a new Secretary of State.

Prior to taking up his role as Secretary of State, Mr Pompeo served 15 months as the director of the CIA, which involved delivering Mr Trump's daily intelligence briefings at the White House.

He was sworn in at the Supreme Court by Justice Samuel Alito, a fellow Italian-American, who said he was "proud" to officiate for the occasion. He immediately headed to Andrews Air Force Base to fly to Brussels. Democrats had robustly opposed his nomination over remarks Pompeo made as a Kansas congressman that appeared to generalize about Muslims and terrorism, as well as his hawkish position on Iran, which closely mirrors that of President Donald Trump. The previous foreign Minister Rex Tillerson was dismissed in March of this year.

Among the pro-Israel groups backing Pompeo were the Zionist Organization of America and Christians United for Israel, which urged its millions of members to blast congressional offices calling for his confirmation.

US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison‏ said she was "pleased that he will be leading the delegation" to the NATO meeting.

Press Secretary of the White house Sarah Sanders on Thursday, April 26, posted on Twitter a photo of a secret meeting with the current Secretary of state Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN, held in early April.

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U.S. President Donald Trump said in a congratulatory statement to Pompeo that as secretary of state "he will always put the interests of America first". "He has my trust".

Yet the Senate vote followed an uneasy confirmation process for Pompeo that underscored Trump's growing difficulties in getting nominees in place for top positions.

Most pleased to have supported Pompeo.

The split vote - 57 to 42 - reflects the political scrutiny Pompeo is likely to encounter as he moves from the CIA to the State Department, where he will face the simultaneous challenges of reinvigorating an agency beset by flagging morale and answering for a president who is prone to impulsiveness on the global stage. GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona, who is being treated for cancer, was absent. As Mr Trump has said, he and Mr Pompeo are "on the same wavelength".

"Before we provide rewards, we get the outcome permanently, irreversibly", Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In Belgium, he will represent the U.S. at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministerial and meet with counterparts, including the Turkish and Italian foreign ministers.

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