Following Pompeo’s meeting with Kim Jong Un, the Trump Administration seems confident that he will be confirmed by the Senate, as expressed by Kellyanne Conway and Tom Cotton today.
It would appear that Trump’s nominee for Sec. of State, Mike Pompeo, is not wasting his time by meeting with Kim Jong Un. It was recently revealed and confirmed by the President himself, that a secret meeting with the North Korean leader took place over Easter weekend.
As Tillerson’s replacement, not yet confirmed by the US Senate, Trump is probably building confidence in the hope that this will sway enough Senators who are on the fence to decide to confirm his choice for the Secretary of State.
According to President Trump, “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed.” This may in part be a response to concerns raised by some, including Sen. Tim Kaine, that Pompeo is “anti-diplomacy.”
Sen. Rand Paul is probably going to be the only Senate Republican to vote “no” on Pompeo’s confirmation, but Sen. McCain (R-AZ) will be absent due to his recent health problems.
As of now, Senator Angus King (I-ME) is undecided.
Press briefing on Pompeo’s nomination
Today at 1 pm, Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) held a press briefing on Pompeo’s nomination.
During this call, Conway and Cotton both largely expressed their confidence in Pompeo’s abilities, and that he would be confirmed. But one member of the press asked if this call shows that they are concerned about the likelihood of confirmation.
Cotton explained that there are enough Democrats, including Sen. Manchin (D – WV) and likely Doug Jones (D-AL) to get Pompeo nominated. He explained that “15 voted for him last year” for CIA Director, and “the only reason they would not is that of blind partisanship.” Of course, this raises the question as to why Republican Rand Paul is voting nay, and Cotton simply explained that Paul’s foreign policy greatly differs from the rest of the Republican Party.
Another question was asked regarding the many unfilled positions in the Dept. of State, and whether this is the result of President Trump’s lack of effort to fill them. Sen. Cotton blamed lack of nominations for many other posts on Democratic obstructionism and stated that once Pompeo is confirmed, he would send a large slate of nominees for various unfilled positions in the Dept. of State. This would then put Senate Democrats on the spot to show if they really want those positions filled.