Mike Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo and Richard Grenell

Mike Pompeo and Richard Grenell

Senators on Thursday voted 57 to 42 in favour of US President Donald Trump's nominee, ending a hard confirmation process dogged by stiff resistance from the Democrats.

By comparison, former President Barack Obama's nominees, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, were confirmed with 94-3 and 94-2 votes respectively.

Sen. Joe Donnelly of IN was one of four Democrats to vote for Pompeo's approval.

On Monday, it appeared Pompeo would fail a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but the panel ultimately cleared him after last-minute support from Republican Sen.

Haspel's confirmation hearing is scheduled for May 9.

Sen. Cory Booker (D.) used his time during the hearing to ask Pompeo if he thought being gay is a "perversion".

Republicans repeatedly urged strong bipartisan backing for Pompeo, pointing out that only two of their members voted against former President Barack Obama's first secretary of state nominee, Hillary Clinton, in 2009, and only three Senate Republicans voted against John Kerry for the post in 2013.

The new secretary of state then heads to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Pompeo takes over at the State Department from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reportedly had a rocky relationship with the president that ended when Trump fired him on Twitter a few months back.

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The Senate confirmed Pompeo's nomination for the position of U.S Secretary of State in a 57-42 vote.

Pompeo-who has previously expressed support for regime change in Iran and North Korea-will take over as America's top diplomat at a time when Trump appears closer than ever to ripping up the Iran nuclear accord, a move experts warn will place the USA on a path to war.

Trump's choice of Pompeo has been controversial, and almost led to him being voted out of committee without a favorable recommendation.

Pompeo's nomination was hotly contested, and he almost advanced out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with an unfavorable rating before Deleware Sen.

While in Congress, Pompeo was an outspoken opponent of the Iran nuclear accord.

Last year, Pompeo had little trouble clinching the confirmation to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Only six North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies now meet the goal, and only nine allies have produced realistic plans for reaching it by 2024.

"The campaign has reached and mobilized more than 100,000 pro-life activists, generating thousands of constituent phone calls and tweets", the pro-life organization added.

In Riyadh, Jerusalem and Amman, the future of the Iran deal and the conflict in Syria will be significant agenda items. May 12 is also the date for parliamentary elections in Iraq that will be held amid concerns that pro-Iranian candidates may win, giving Tehran further influence in Middle East.

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