Pompeo becomes US secretary of state as Iran, North Korea issues await

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

"This morning, we want to pray for our dear brother Mike Pompeo as he goes through the confirmation process", the Rev. Warren Snyder, Eastminster Presbyterian's assistant pastor, prayed several Sundays ago.

Pompeo's confirmation comes after weeks of uncertainty as to whether he would make it through the Senate at all, given the robust objection from almost every corner of civil society and with theearly opposition of Sen.

"We will only have sustainable, long-term peace if we actually make religious freedom a foreign policy priority", Perkins said in his response to Pompeo's confirmation. Trump sent Pompeo to North Korea three weeks ago to meet with the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, ahead of a summit with the US president to address Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito swore Pompeo in Thursday afternoon at the Supreme Court. Pompeo's predecessor, Rex Tillerson, never filled the congressionally mandated job and it has been empty since the launch of the Trump administration.

Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the foreign relations panel, was a vocal opponent of Pompeo's confirmation, but said he did not think the bruising confirmation fight would leave Pompeo wounded. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The Democrats voting "yes" included Senators Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly.

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"He will always put the interests of America first", the president said in a statement after Pompeo's confirmation.

The votes come after a Trump tweet Monday when the President called on the Senate to quickly approve the nominees.

Republicans, meanwhile, hailed Pompeo's resume and life accomplishments, from graduating at the top of his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to studying law at Harvard to years representing Kansas in the House of Representatives.

"He's the ideal person to come in at this time and lead those efforts" on North Korea, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said on the Senate floor moments before Pompeo was confirmed.

President Donald Trump is applauding the Senate's confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

Pompeo is expected to arrange a summit between Trump and Kim in the coming months. Trump's naming in recent weeks of Pompeo and of John Bolton as his national security adviser are seen as signals that he plans to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal when it comes up for renewal on May 12. Pompeo planned to keep up pressure on NATO's European members, particularly Germany, to live up to their past pledges to boost their defense spending.