Pompeo to call Russian Federation 'a danger to our country' in testimony

Pompeo pressed on plans for cybersecurity at State

President Trump's nominee for secretary of state once trashed Hillary Clinton for her "morally reprehensible" response to the Benghazi attack and liked a tweet that called John Kerry a "traitor", but he's now seeking their advice as he prepares for his confirmation hearings, according to a report Tuesday. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks from a senior Trump administration official.

Pompeo will seek to convince skeptical senators that President Donald Trump - who until recently had resisted criticizing Putin directly - is determined to get tough on the Russian leader.

Trump nominated Pompeo, a former Republican congressman, to become the country's top diplomat on March 13 when he fired Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's former CEO. He'll say diplomatic efforts with Moscow are "challenging" but "must continue".

The committee has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, and Republican Rand Paul has already expressed his opposition to Pompeo, for the latter's support of the Iraq war and his aggressive posture against Iran.

"We have imposed tough sanctions and expelled more Russian diplomats and intelligence officers from the United States than at any time since the Cold War", Pompeo said.

"As I have argued throughout my time in public service, if we do not lead the calls for democracy, prosperity and human rights around the world, who will?"

One of Pompeo's immediate aims will be to restore morale at the State Department, where people felt adrift and ignored by Tillerson and dispirited by the administration's slow pace in filling top positions.

Since being named as the uncomfortably ousted Rex Tillerson's replacement as Secretary of State, soon-to-be-former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo has faced an uncertain confirmation process.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo will work to fix a shelled-out State Department if the Senate confirms his nomination to run the department, the White House said in a statement Wednesday night.

Pompeo's confirmation hearing will be held on Thursday. Trump has vowed to withdraw the USA if agreement with European allies to revamp to deal can't be reached by May 12.

And on May 12, exactly one month from the hearing, Trump is to pronounce on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, a pact Pompeo strenuously opposed in 2015 when he was a member of Congress.

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