Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as Trump's second secretary of state

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Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th USA secretary of state Thursday, after the Senate voted to confirm him, 57-42, installing the former CIA Director as the nation's top diplomat at a time when several high stakes negotiations are underway around the globe.

The State Department confirmed soon after the vote that Pompeo is expected to travel to Brussels for the NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting on Friday. Ultimately, seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus - five of whom face re-election this year in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016 - joined a united Republican conference to support Mr. Pompeo's confirmation.

With the Senate's confirmation, Pompeo - who had recently taken on more diplomatic duties, including engaging in direct negotiations with North Korea - can now formally lead the U.S. State Department. "Mike Pompeo understands this and will make it happen as Secretary of State".

Pompeo - a former congressman from Kansas who was most recently the director of the Central Intelligence Agency - was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito shortly after the vote.

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All the Democrats on the committee opposed Pompeo's nomination, primarily because of his hawkish views. His candidacy was given the green light by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday.

Pompeo had already started diplomatic work prior to the confirmation with visit to North Korea at the beginning of April to lay the groundwork for upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

"He obviously has the president's support".

However, one thing on Mike Pompeo's resume that is of paramount importance to millions of Americans isn't a degree or an award - it's his commitment to President Trump's pro-life agenda.

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Pompeo has been a stern critic of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, an accord seen as a victory for non-proliferation by America's allies, but as a capitulation by anti-Iran hardliners.

Pompeo, a West Point graduate and former Army captain, was elected three times to the U.S. House from Kansas.

Pompeo is expected to be sworn into office immediately and then depart within hours of the vote for Europe on his first trip as secretary of state.

"America's top diplomat should embody the best of America's values and diplomatic traditions, not attack people's race, defend torture, promote division, ignore human rights, propose military force as the primary solution to our problems around the world or reject solutions to the climate change, which is threatening our planet,"he said in a Wednesday floor speech".

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