Pompeo acknowledges he has heard firsthand from U.S. diplomats about "how demoralizing it is to have so many vacancies and, frankly, not to feel relevant".

Democrats will focus on whether Pompeo is willing to be a voice of dissent when needed.

Last month, Dawud Walid, the MI executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), called Pompeo a "conspiracy theorist and a known anti-Muslim bigot".

Pompeo kicked off his remarks to the panel with a reminder to lawmakers that, as a former congressman, he understands the important oversight role of Congress. "A couple hundred Russians were killed", Pompeo said during his confirmation hearing in Washington.

"Will you be working from crisis to crisis?"

Pompeo vowed not to repeat past mistakes regarding North Korea, suggesting Washington will maintain maximum pressure and sanctions until Pyongyang takes concrete action toward denuclearisation.

Paul began the exchange with Fox News' Neil Cavuto by expressing his skepticism about the chemical attack in Syria, emphasizing the importance of proof before retaliating against the Syrian regime.


Pompeo acknowledged he had been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose federal probe includes looking into whether there was collusion with Moscow by Trump campaign aides, but he declined to discuss details.

Menendez questioned Pompeo about a report of a private conversation between he, Trump, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats.

"Senator, I don't recall".

Pompeo also pledged to fix the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six nations including the United States - one that has been jeopardised by Trump threatening to pull out unless a "better" deal can be struck.

The CIA chief was also peppered with questions regarding his personal views on national security policies, particularly as they relate to North Korea and Iran.

The Trump administration also faces crucial decisions on how to react to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, more sanctions on Russian Federation, and a deadline to confirm the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"Imagine we're close to achieving the fix that the president has asked the State Department to achieve?" He maintained he wants to improve the Iran deal and would continue efforts to do so even if Trump withdraws from it as he has threatened. "This is not the kind of person that we need to be representing the United States".

"Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un".


"There are few who dread war more than those of us who have served in uniform", said Pompeo, "And there is a great deal of room between a military presence and war". Thursday was no exception.

Booker also addressed Pompeo's comments that gay sex is a "perversion", asking if he still believes being gay is a perversion.

Booker, a prospective 2020 Democratic candidate for president, repeatedly asked Pompeo if he still holds to his Christian beliefs. Booker asked of his relationship with her and her organization.

"So you do not believe its appropriate for two gay people to marry?" "I stand by that".

He concluded by saying, "My respect for every individual - regardless of their sexual orientation - is the same".

Pompeo agreed that Russian Federation meddled in the election and said the United States needs to "push back in each place we confront them".

Pompeo was confirmed for his current Central Intelligence Agency job with a 66-32 vote.


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