Pompeo: US airstrikes in February killed 'a couple hundred Russians'

Mike Pompeo accepted nearly $1.5 million from fossil fuel companies between 2009 and 2017

However, Senate Democrats may refuse to vote in favour of Pompeo with U.S. midterm elections approaching in November and Democrats eyeing sweeping victories due to the unpopularity of President Donald Trump.

Throughout the hearing, he drew a sharp contrast with his ousted predecessor, Rex Tillerson. "So, in turn, he has come to rely on us", Pompeo said.

Mr Pompeo said Russia's push into Ukraine and other countries needed to be curbed.

"[Russian President] Vladimir Putin has not yet received the message sufficiently", Mr Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his relatively smooth confirmation hearing.

Pompeo tried to insist that he believed in treating people of all faiths equally, but Booker hammered him for refusing to answer his question.

Booker moved on to asking about Pompeo's comments that Muslim Americans have a "special obligation" to speak out about suspicious activity, and if they don't are "complicit" in terrorism.

"Senator, I continue to hold that view", Pompeo confirmed.

He also vowed to continue "to take real actions to push back, to reset the deterrence relationship with respect to Russian Federation".

An avowed opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo said he'd work immediately if confirmed to "fix" the agreement that Trump has threatened to abandon if it's not strengthened. Still, he affirmed that he won't support staying in over the long term unless more restrictions are placed on Tehran.

President Donald Trump's pick to become Washington's top diplomat pledged Thursday to work with U.S. allies to strengthen the Iran deal and played down fears he is bent on regime change in North Korea.

Still, he acknowledged that Iran, technically speaking, is not violating the terms of the 2015 accord between the U.S., Iran and other world powers, adding: "I have seen no evidence that they are not in compliance".

Asked by Gardner what level of US Department of State personnel he would authorize to travel to Taiwan - in reference to the Taiwan Travel Act, which took effect last month and aims to bolster bilateral visits by Taiwanese and US officials at all levels - Pompeo did not provide a direct answer. He's also spoken to all eight living former secretaries - including Hillary Clinton, whom he famously criticized over the 2012 attack on USA facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

He was confirmed to his position as Central Intelligence Agency director previous year in a vote of 66 to 32, with 14 Democrats voting for his appointment. "What did President Trump say to you and Director Coats in that meeting?"

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