Top Five Takeaways From Mike Pompeo’s Nomination Hearing

At his confirmation hearing to become President Trump’s next Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo offered little reassurance that he has tempered his hawkish inclinations on Iran or distanced himself from past bigoted remarks. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is planning to vote on Pompeo as soon as next week, and there is a likelihood he may not gain the votes necessary to earn the committee’s support – no one in modern history has become Secretary of State without winning that endorsement. Below are five key moments from the hearing that demonstrate why Pompeo is unfit to be Secretary of State:

Pompeo Offered No Reassurances on Protecting the Iran Deal from Trump and Bolton

Director Pompeo demurred when Senator Jeff Merkley asked if he was going to be part of a “war cabinet” with John Bolton. But his comments on Iran left little question that Pompeo would work to spike the Iran deal and put the U.S. on a potential war path with Iran. Pompeo vowed that he would follow Trump’s directive to try to “fix” perceived deficiencies in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, when pressed by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) on whether he would recommend staying in the JCPOA if he couldn’t fix it by May 12, Pompeo refused to answer because he said it was a hypothetical – even though it is one that he could face in his first weeks on the job. When pressed further, Pompeo made clear that he would not caution against Trump snapping back sanctions and that he would instead work for a “better agreement” after Trump walks away from the deal.

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Pompeo Would Kill Iran Deal, Put U.S. on War Path and Embolden Trump’s Bigotry


Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408

Washington, DC – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement on Mike Pompeo’s nomination hearing:

“Trusting Mike Pompeo to be our nation’s chief diplomat would be akin to appointing an arsonist as chief firefighter. Pompeo made clear that a vote for him is a vote to kill the Iran deal and put the U.S. and Iran on a path to war.

Pompeo failed to resolve concerns about his attempts at diplomatic sabotage during the Iran nuclear talks or his past comments suggesting he prefers bombing to negotiations. Pompeo played down the ramifications of the U.S. abandoning the Iran deal just as he has previously played down the cost of the U.S. going to war with Iran. He refused to articulate any strategy for how he would approach Trump’s pending decision to abrogate the agreement. Instead he repeated ad nauseum that he would ‘fix’ the deal, despite the fact that none of our allies think it is broken.

Pompeo has demonized Muslims and even accepted an award from a hate group and failed to distance himself from these political allies. He did not provide any assurance that he would be anything but an enabler of President Trump’s most bigoted and dangerous impulses. Pompeo is an ambitious man who could very well become the most powerful national security official in Washington if he is appointed as Secretary of State. That should give pause to anybody familiar with his history. Members of the Foreign Relations Committee should stop Pompeo’s nomination now before it is too late.”