White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on Democrats to put love of country above partisan politics and vote to confirm current CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be the nation’s next secretary of state.
“Look, at some point, Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this president,” Sanders told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
“And they have to decide that they want to put the safety and the security and the diplomacy of our country ahead of their own political games. And we’re very hopeful that they will,” she added.
The White House spokesperson went on to highlight his credentials, noting he was “top of his class at Harvard (Law School). First in his class at West Point. He’s been an impeccable CIA director.”
Sanders’ comments came as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepared to vote on Pompeo’s nomination on Monday.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 23, 2018
All of the Democrats on the committee have indicated they will vote against Trump nominee, faulting Pompeo for being too deferential to President Donald Trump. However, New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker grilled the former Kansas congressman for his Christian views concerning marriage and homosexuality during his confirmation hearing earlier this month.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who also serves on the committee, switched his vote from “no” to “yes” on Monday afternoon, citing assurances he received from Trump and Pompeo. The change in position means Pompeo is expected to received a positive referral to the full Senate from the panel.
Pompeo easily sailed through his Senate confirmation as CIA director on the same day as Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.
The vote was 89 in favor, with only eight opposing, all of whom were Democrats.
The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 25 Democrats have already stated they will not vote to confirm Pompeo as secretary of state.
Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 23, 2018
However, two Democrats thus far have indicated they will vote for the nominee: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Their support means Pompeo should win confirmation when the nomination comes to a full Senate vote, despite Paul’s no vote and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona being absent due to illness.
After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) April 23, 2018
Other possible “yes” votes on the Democratic side could come from Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who both represent states Trump handily won in 2016.
Sanders noted confirmation of secretaries of the state in the past has been a broadly bi-partisan undertaking, pointing specifically to the examples of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, both of whom received the backing of 94 senators.
“Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State,” Trump said Monday via Twitter. “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2018
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Wednesday, “The trust that President Trump has in Director Pompeo, including having him represent the president and country in those initial talks with North Korea — that tells you how the president is already viewing Director Pompeo as the nation’s chief diplomat.”
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