Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced he will vote “Yes” to confirm Mike Pompeo as the Secretary of the State Department.
“After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State,” he tweeted.
After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) April 23, 2018
Mr. Pompeo, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),was nominated by President Trump to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. During his first confirmation, more than a dozen Democrats voted to confirm him in the U.S. Senate.
But Senate Democrats have now sought to stall and block his confirmation even as the Trump Administration continues to make significant progress toward the diplomatic denuclearization of North Korea.
“He won 14 Democrats votes when he was confirmed as CIA director. Now those Democrats are walking away. Why?” asked Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel. “What’s changed in Pompeo’s resume in the past year? It really is pure partisanship.”
Kim Jong Un announced last Friday that he has suspended Pyongyang’s nuclear testing program, including a freeze on intercontinental ballistic missile tests and closing a nuclear site. The extraordinary development came after President Donald Trump confirmed that Mr. Pompeo met with the dictator during Easter weekend to gauge the potential for a summit with South Korea and the United States (US).
If the summit is held, it would be the first-ever between the U.S. and North Korea after more than six decades of hostility. The North and South remain in a technical state of war. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
North Korea previously announced they have dropped demands for a freeze to U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises and the withdrawal of U.S. troops as preconditions for talks, handing the Trump Administration an enormous foreign policy victory.
Kim is scheduled to hold talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week and with U.S. President Trump in late May or early June. President Trump reacted to the development on Twitter.
Senator Manchin is only the second Democrat to announce their support for Mr. Pompeo’s confirmation. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., was the first vulnerable Red State Democrat to buck party leadership last week.
UPDATE: Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ina., has become the third to announce he’ll support the confirmation of Mike Pompeo.