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Friday, April 27, 2018

Pompeo takes oath as Secretary of State of the USA

Por Damian

Mike Pompeo was sworn in as a leader of the United States diplomacy last Thursday, shortly after the Senate confirmed his nomination. The new secretary of state immediately went to Europe in an energetic start according to the problems that await him regarding the part of Iran and North Korea.

The former director of the CIA was confirmed by the Senate after a vote of 57 legislators in favor and 42 against, one of the narrowest margins for the position in recent years. Each previous nominee that was put to a vote in the Senate since at least the Jimmy Carter administration received 85 or more votes in favor in the Senate, with the exception of President Donald Trump's first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who obtained 56 votes.

Pompeo was sworn for the position before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who is also Italian-American. The judge said he was "proud" to have presided over the ceremony. Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department that he was "happy" to serve as the most important diplomat in the United States.

"I am completely honored by the responsibility and I hope to serve the Americans and get to work immediately", said Pompeo. After his oath, Pompeo went to Andrews Air Force Base, where a government plane was waiting to transfer him to Brussels and attend meetings at NATO headquarters. State Department staff, demoralized after a tumultuous first year of President Trump's administration, applauded Pompeo, who responded as he boarded the plane with a: "Hi, I'm Mike".

It is expected that Pompeo, a former Kansas Republican congressman, will guide Trump's foreign policy more to the right than Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil who was fired by Trump via Twitter last month.

Pompeo receives a State Department that has lost relevance during the Trump administration and a diplomatic corps deeply discouraged by the mandate of Tillerson, who pressed for budget and personnel cuts, and avoided public appearances while leaving key diplomatic posts with vacancies.

His confirmation creates a vacancy in the CIA that will be occupied, at least for now, by Gina Haspel, number two of the intelligence agency. Trump has nominated Haspel to replace Pompeo, but faces a complicated road to confirmation.