WASHINGTON — The Senate approved Mike Pompeo’s nomination as the next secretary of state on Thursday, installing the former CIA Director as the nation’s top diplomat at a time when several high stakes negotiations are underway around the globe.
The vote was 57-42.
Present Republicans approved Pompeo. In addition, independent Sen. Angus King of Maine had also announced his support as have several Democrats: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
President Donald Trump fired his first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a Twitter message in March. He tapped Pompeo, a former Kansas Republican Congressman, to take the job after the two developed a close relationship during his tenure as the chief intelligence officer, during which Pompeo personally delivered the daily briefings at the White House.
Just after Pompeo’s vote, the Senate is expected to vote on Richard Grenell to be the next Ambassador to Germany.
Grenell’s nomination had been stuck languishing in the Senate, but with German Chancellor Angela Merkel visiting Washington Friday, Grenell’s nomination has become a high priority.
The votes come after a Trump tweet Monday when the President called on the Senate to quickly approve the nominees.
“Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. 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!” Trump tweeted.