Rhode Island's U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both said today they will oppose confirmation of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of state.
"I believe our nation's top diplomat must be forthright", Menendez said during a speech to a Washington think tank.
Democrats are navigating a political minefield as they weigh their support for Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of State.
Pompeo's extraordinary meeting with Kim did not appear to perturb Republicans, however, who gave the administration good marks for its handling of negotiations they hope will produce a thaw in relations between the USA and North Korea.
Moderate Democratic Senator Doug Jones said he could meet soon with Pompeo and had "an open mind" about him.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on Tuesday announced her opposition, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, opposed - the committee might have few other options when it convenes as soon as next week.
Conservative groups, meanwhile, argued that rejecting Pompeo now, when he is engaged in sensitive diplomatic talks with an infamously reclusive leader, would seriously jeopardize the chances for peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., as three Democrats from states that Trump won big in 2016.
"It's possible" that the Senate will force a vote on Pompeo even if he fails to clear the committee with a majority, Corker told reporters. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that the meeting would take place "in the coming weeks" and that "hopefully that meeting will be a great success".
Paul has adamantly refused to support Trump's nominee due to his objections to some of Pompeo's foreign policy positions.
The Republican camp seemed mostly pleased with Pompeo's trip, seeing it as a sign Trump was moving the ball forward on negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, which this administration frames as one of the top threats to USA national security.
"This weekend's illegal and counterproductive strikes against the Syrian government underscore the urgent need for a secretary of state who will stand up for the constitution and articulate to the president the danger of American military hubris", Chris Murphy, a senator from CT, said in a declaring his opposition to Pompeo.
First in his class at West Point.
She went on to say, "If he's confirmed, I'll hold Mr. Pompeo accountable to make sure he advances our country's leadership in the world and supports our embassies - including by filling critical jobs that have been vacant, like for the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea".