President Donald Trump’s designates for U.S. representative to the United Nations and Central Intelligence Agency director were confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday.
In a 96–4 vote, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley sailed to her confirmation to the UN; Mr. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, was approved 66–32 to head the CIA.
Haley, who had initially offered support to Marco Rubio during the GOP presidential primary before shifting to Ted Cruz, had echoed Mr. Trump’s stances skeptical of the UN by calling for the U.S. to carefully re-examine American assistance to the assembly and branding the world legislative body anti-Israel while testifying during her confirmation hearings.
In contrast to Mr. Trump, Haley did mention her role as ambassador would aim at demanding the UN to reform itself and vowed to continue to keep human rights on the forefront during her tenure.
Similarly, on Tuesday, and after contentious hearings, the Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo to lead the CIA.
Pompeo’s confirmation follows numerous questions raised by Senate Democrats, particularly Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who often clashed with the Kansas Republican over clarity on Pompeo’s positions related to torture and his views on surveillance and the collection of data from Americans’ phone calls.
During confirmation hearings, Pompeo assured the Senate Intelligence Committee members he would not obey an order to revive torture, but emphasized he did not expect such an order to come from Mr. Trump.
The pair’s confirmation by the upper chamber now authorizes four Trump appointees to begin work; however, Mr. Pompeo’s confirmation hearing did create a dust up on the Senate floor on Friday with some GOP senators charging Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of retreating from a pledge to simultaneously confirm Pompeo along with Defense and Homeland Security nominees James Mattis and John Kelly.
According to sources, Schumer agreed to combine the confirmation vote for Pompeo with Kelly and Mattis by voice during an early-January deal sought by the GOP to guarantee the Trump administration would have key national-security aides in place by Inauguration Day.
On Friday, Schumer ditched his earlier pledge and, according to sources and a C-Span camera capturing activity on the Senate floor, Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) confronted Schumer.
After a testy exchange between the two men, sources confirmed Schumer told Cotton he was merely speaking for himself when he had agreed to allow Pompeo’s confirmation Friday.
The confirmation and swearing-in of Haley and Pompeo on Tuesday gives the White House four nominees that that have assumed their positions in the Trump administration.
[Reuters] [RT America] [Weekly Standard] [C-Span]