Mike Pompeo is now Secretary of State. Despite unconstitutional attacks on Pompeo's faith from some Democratic committee members, the Senate gave its approval on Thursday to the man President Trump has picked to lead the U.S. diplomatic corps.
When it came time to vote, the minority side of the aisle decided not to make Pompeo meet a 60-vote threshold. In a final tally of 57-42, six Democrats and one Independent crossed party lines and voted to confirm him as the next secretary of state. The seven were Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Doug Jones (Alabama), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Bill Nelson (Florida), and Angus King (Maine), the lone Independent.
Gary Bauer of American Values contends it wasn't because those lawmakers were principled or brave. "If those six or seven senators were not up for reelection this year, I have absolutely no hesitancy in saying they all would have voted against Mr. Pompeo," he tells OneNewsNow. Indeed, the terms for six of the seven expire in January 2019.
Pompeo got a running start to the job. Last month he held secret meetings with North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un and reportedly came away with strong concessions that Trump is demanding as a prerequisite to a possible summit with the North Korean dictator.
"It will be good to have somebody at the State Department who knows that diplomacy can and should be used as a weapon in order to promote America's interests and to protect ourselves against America's enemies," Bauer adds.
Pompeo is said to have the president's confidence and an understanding of diplomacy in the Make America Great Again era. Bauer agrees. "I think he'll do an outstanding job," he concludes. "He's got all the right credentials, he gets along well with the president, [and] he understands the threats we're facing around the world."
Less than 24 hours after being confirmed, Pompeo hopped on a plane to Brussels, arriving at NATO headquarters on Friday morning to start a four-day, four-nation trip that is to include talks with top allies about Russian aggression and the Iran nuclear deal.