WASHINGTON (CBS News) — The U.S. Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as secretary of state in a 57-42 vote Thursday afternoon, making Mr. Trump’s selection of the top U.S. diplomat official. Pompeo was previously serving as the CIA director.
Pompeo’s approval was all but set in stone after senators like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, announced they would be voting for him. Pompeo’s confirmation comes at a crucial time on the international stage, with Mr. Trump’s administration finalizing details for a possible meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
, as Mr. Trump recently confirmed, laying some of the groundwork for such a summit. There is no indication that Pompeo will relinquish that role in the U.S.-North Korea talks, as maintaining that portfolio will be a “natural thing,” someone close to Pompeo explained to CBS News’ Kylie Atwood.
“I think he will continue to play the role that the president wishes,” said another Pompeo confidant.
Pompeo’s confirmation also comes at a crucial time for decisions about the Iran deal. The next deadline for certifying to Congress whether Iran is in compliance is May 12, and French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters Wednesday night he believes Mr. Trump will pull out of the deal.
Pompeo testified before the Senate that he plans to revive the State Department. He has already been meeting with officials at the State Department to gain an understanding of how the massive department functions. Low morale is a well-known issue at the department.
One of the things Pompeo is expected to do within his first 10 days at the helm, Atwood reports, is host a town hall with State Department employees.