Senate approves Pompeo as US Secretary of State

U.S. Senator Doug Jones

U.S. Senator Doug Jones

The Senate has confirmed Mike Pompeo as secretary of state in a 57-to-42 vote Thursday.

"... Shortly after the vote at the Capitol, Mr. Pompeo went across the street to the Supreme Court, where he was sworn in by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr".

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Trump applauded Pompeo's confirmation, hailing him as a "patriot" with "immense talent, energy and intellect" who will be an asset for the United States.

Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, is expected to guide Trump's foreign policy in a more right-leaning direction than Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO fired by Trump on Twitter last month.

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The State Department immediately announced Pompeo would lead the USA delegation to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign minister talks in Brussels on Friday, and follow that with stops in Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, stops chosen to reflect their "importance as key allies and partners in the region", the department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Pompeo will be on a two-day travel to Brussels from April 26 to April 27, where he will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, during which Allies will discuss preparations for July's NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government meeting, she said. He inherits a State Department and diplomatic corps that is deeply demoralized after a tumultuous first year under Tillerson, who pushed budget and staff cuts and eschewed public appearances while leaving key diplomatic positions unfilled. "I know that Mike Pompeo will serve our nation with distinction and will do an outstanding job for the American people".

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