Politics & Policy

Senate Confirms Pompeo as Secretary of State

CIA Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing for secretary of state, April 12, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as secretary of state Thursday by a 57–42 vote, after Pompeo initially struggled to clear procedural hurdles due to opposition from Democratic lawmakers wary of his hawkish foreign-policy stances.

Pompeo narrowly avoided becoming the first secretary of state to be confirmed without first receiving approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He had faced near-universal opposition from Democrats on the committee, who were concerned about his interventionist tendencies, but was finally approved Tuesday after a number of red-state Democrats finally conceded their support. Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) was also hesitant to back Pompeo’s confirmation but relented Tuesday after claiming he had “received assurances” from Trump regarding the incoming secretary’s beliefs.

After he is sworn in Thursday afternoon, Pompeo will immediately travel to Europe and meet with U.S. allies at NATO headquarters to discuss strategies for combating Russian president Vladimir Putin’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy. The newly confirmed secretary also faces the rapidly approaching May 12 deadline for extending the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s impending meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, who was abruptly fired in early March, also left behind a number of internal challenges for Pompeo: An unprecedented number of positions at the State Department remain unfilled and morale among career officials is reportedly at an all time low.

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular


Monday Links

The Guy Who Makes the World’s Best Paper Airplanes. The Theater That Shakespeare Stole. The Invention of the Baby Carrot Phrases commonly used today which are derived from obsolete technologies. This device was used to resuscitate canaries in coal mines. The Surprisingly Complex Design of the ... Read More

School Shootings and the Incentives of Violence

Today’s Morning Jolt discusses school shootings and the common difficulties of the teenage years, and I thought of another aspect that I forgot to include -- the degree to which our society, in its reaction to violence, inadvertently rewards that violence. Every teenager wants attention, to be recognized, to ... Read More
NR Marketing

Down the Home Stretch

Our Spring 2018 Webathon winds up this week. El jefe, Mr. Lowry, makes the case, wonderfully, for your participating, even at this final stage. In case you need some visual inspiration, we’ll use this horse race image from the novel Ben Hur (you'll remember the 1959 movie version starred the late NR ... Read More

The Feminization of Everything Fails Our Boys

Let me share with you two troubling — and, I believe, closely linked — news reports. The first, from this weekend, comes courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry. In one chart, he highlights the dramatic and growing gender gap in higher education. In short, women are dominating: ... Read More