Pompeo says 'couple of hundred' Russians killed in Syria clash

Lawmakers to Hear From Pompeo, Mattis in Midst of Syria Crisis

Trump forged a warm relationship with Pompeo during White House meetings over the first year of his presidency and feels the former Republican congressman shares more of his view of the world than Tillerson, who at times disagreed with the president. But he wouldn't answer questions about the contents of the interview, arguing it would be improper since, as CIA director in charge of overseas intelligence gathering, he has been a "participant" in Mueller's probe.

Mr Pompeo also told senators he would not resign as secretary of state if Mr Trump were to sack Mr Mueller.

Pompeo had previously described Washington's relationship with Moscow as "complicated", and even expressed hope that the U.S. would be able to find areas in which it could work with Russian Federation, including in counter-terrorism efforts.

"The State Department wants to be at the vanguard of US foreign policy". In contrast, Tillerson did not even speak with his immediate predecessor, John F. Kerry, before he arrived on the job. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)-joined every Republican except Paul in voting to confirm Pompeo as Central Intelligence Agency chief.

Meanwhile, 30 top former national security officials countered with a letter of their own supporting his confirmation, calling him a "strong choice" to be Trump's top diplomat.

"Will you stand up to President Trump and say: "No, you are wrong in that view"?"

He also pledges to strengthen diversity in the State Department workforce.

AMCD calls on the Senate to quickly move Director Pompeo's nomination forward and to confirm him as US Secretary of State as soon as possible.

Pompeo, seen as a close ally of Trump's, has faced criticism for his foreign policy views and his hawkish attitude toward countries hostile to the USA, like Iran and North Korea.

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Pompeo's comments came during an exchange with Sen.

"Vladimir Putin's not yet received the message sufficiently". He said a long list of punitive actions taken under Trump show the USA takes the threat from Russian Federation seriously, adding that "we need to push back in each place we confront them", including the economic and cyber arenas.

"The number of - we call them "no fear complaints" - the statutory requirement decreased from 2016 to 2017 by 40 percent", Pompeo explained.

Senators asked Pompeo numerous times to discuss his advice to the president as Trump decides how to respond to Saturday's alleged chemical attack that killed dozens in rebel-held suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they would press Pompeo on the administration's strategy on Syria, relations with Russia, North Korea's nuclear ambitions and plans for dealing with China's growing worldwide influence. Still he affirmed that he won't support staying on the long term unless limits are put on Tehran.

"I would prefer achieving the president's foreign policy goals with unrelenting diplomacy rather than by sending young men and women to war", he said.

If European officials do not agree to the new deal, Trump has said he will not renew sanctions waivers on May 12, essentially withdrawing the United States from the global accord.

By choosing Pompeo as his new secretary of State, Trump selected a person who is close to him in major issues, after months of disagreements with Tillerson on key foreign policy matters. He's also spoken to all eight living former secretaries - including Hillary Clinton, whom he famously criticized over the 2012 attack on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

As Pompeo attempted to insist during his opening statement during Thursday's hearing that he is not, in fact, a hawk-contradicting his lengthy record of calling for regime change in North Korea and Iran-more than 180 advocacy groups nationwide urged Americans to keep up the pressure on Democratic senators to stop his confirmation.

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