CBS News — Mike Pompeo, who until recently has served as director of the CIA, fielded nearly five hours of questions from lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday, as he looks to become secretary of state.
President Trump nominated Pompeo to the role after dramatically firing former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month. Pompeo fielded a range of question topics from senators, from Iran, to Syria, to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Here are some of the highlights, detailed further down below:
- Syria: Pompeo indicated he doesn’t think Mr. Trump needs further congressional authorization to strike Syria, a question he was asked in many ways throughout the hearing. But Pompeo said he would support a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from Congress.
- Mueller: Pompeo confirmed he has been interviewed by Mueller, as the special counsel probes Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign. But he would not comment in any substantive manner on conversations he had with Mueller, or on conversations he may have had with the president about Mueller. He called questions about the probe a “minefield.” Pompeo said he likely wouldn’t step down from the administration if Mr. Trump fired Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
- Iran: Pompeo would not definitively say whether he will advocate to stay in, or pull out of, the Iran deal. The next deadline for certifying compliance with the deal to Congress is next month.
Follow along for live updates of the hearing: