Published: Fri, April 13, 2018

Mike Pompeo's secretary of state confirmation hearing begin

Mike Pompeo's secretary of state confirmation hearing begin

But he declined to answer most questions about the investigation, including one about whether he agreed with President Donald Trump's assessment that the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt".

Pompeo, who serves as the Central Intelligence Agency director, is expected to present his relationship with the president as an asset to taking over the State Department, where according to prepared remarks, he believes employees "hope to be empowered in their roles, and to have a clear understanding of the president's mission". Later, he said he did not recall what was discussed at the meeting.

"In a couple areas, he professed he did not know the current status", Cardin said, but he went on to say Pompeo was knowledgeable about intelligence issues, and that he hasn't had much time to get up to speed.

Mr. Pompeo was testifying to the Senate as he seeks to win the top post at the State Department, after President Trump nominated him to replace outgoing Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Pompeo says bad behavior by Russian Federation is responsible for the poor relationship.

Booker specifically asked Pompeo if he had ever condemned Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim extremist who has said that Muslims who "abide by the adherence of their faith should be tried for acts of sedition and should be prosecuted". And he contradicted a Thursday morning tweet from Trump that blamed the investigation for bad relations between the US and Russian Federation.

The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and [then FBI Director James] Comey's handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates. Coats ultimately decided that it would be inappropriate for him to do so.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded past year that Russian Federation interfered in the campaign in hopes of tilting the election in Trump's favour.

Flynn also lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conversations with Russian officials. during a January 2017 interview with investigators.

"Ma'am, I'm going to not speak about any of the three investigations that I have been a participant in today", Pompeo responded.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican hawk on foreign policy, has said Pompeo would be taking over during a "dangerous" period globally, and that "I think he's the right guy at the right time". Bob Menendez of New Jersey. "I don't recall what he asked me that day precisely", Pompeo said.

"He has never asked me to do anything remotely that I consider improper", Pompeo added.

Pompeo confirmed for the first time publicly that he's been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign and possible obstruction of justice issues.

"I spoke with special counsel Mueller, who interviewed me".

HRC president Chad Griffin describes Pompeo as a "reckless choice to lead our nation's diplomatic efforts".

Mr Pompeo refused to disclose to senators "private conversations" he had had with President Trump about the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election. Comey gave no indication that he would do so.

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