The Latest: Australia says Pompeo prioritizes naming envoy
AP 26 days ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination to serve as secretary of state (all times local):
Australia's foreign minister says new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told her appointing an ambassador to Australia is "one of his highest priorities."
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters Pompeo phoned her during a flight to a NATO meeting within hours of being confirmed in his new role.
President Donald Trump had nominated the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, to fill the embassy post which has been vacant since September 2016. But the Australian government says it was told this week that Harris will now become ambassador to Seoul.
Bishop describes were talk with Pompeo as "very productive."
She says: "We were reassured that the Australia-United States relationship is the strongest that it has ever been and we committed to resolving challenges as partners, as friends, as allies wherever and however we could do so."
Mike Pompeo says he's "humbled by the responsibility" of serving as secretary of state as he departs on his first trip as America's top diplomat.
Pompeo was sworn in Thursday shortly after being confirmed by the Senate. He immediately headed to Andrews Air Force Base to fly to Brussels.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert relayed the statement from Pompeo. Pompeo said Thursday that he is "delighted to be secretary of state" and is "looking forward to serving the American people and getting to work right away."
Pompeo, the former CIA director, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He says he's admired Alito "for a long time."
Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says that Alito, an Italian-American, "was proud to swear in the first Italian-American secretary of state."
Mike Pompeo has been sworn is as secretary of state.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito swore Pompeo in Thursday afternoon at the Supreme Court.
From there, Pompeo was expected to rush to Andrews Air Force Base, where an aircraft was waiting to whisk him to Europe for his first trip as secretary. Pompeo is expected to travel to Brussels before heading on to the Middle East.
Pompeo's nomination was confirmed by the Senate earlier Thursday on a 57-42 vote. It was one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history.
President Donald Trump applauded the confirmation of his former CIA director as secretary of state, calling him a "patriot."
President Donald Trump is applauding the Senate's confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.
Trump says, "Having a patriot of Mike's immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history."
He adds that Pompeo "will always put the interests of America first," and says the outgoing CIA director has his full trust and support.
Pompeo on Thursday secured the votes of 57 senators, with 42 voting no and one senator absent.
It was one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history.
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.
The Senate has narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state.
The outgoing CIA director secured support from 57 senators, with 42 voting no and one senator absent. It's one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history. Every past nominee since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes, with the exception of Trump's first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. He got 56 yes votes.
Pompeo is a former Republican congressman from Kansas. He is expected to be sworn in almost immediately so he can begin serving as top diplomat.
Pompeo has been deeply engaged in the administration's efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang.
Outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo is expected to clear his last hurdle to become secretary of state when the Senate votes midday Thursday to confirm him.
Pompeo's confirmation narrowly made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday after last-minute support from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's expected to have an easier time in the full Senate, though the tally will still likely be close.
If confirmed, Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO fired by President Donald Trump on Twitter last month.
Pompeo is expected to be sworn in almost immediately. A long list of pressing issues awaits him including a decision on the Iran nuclear deal and Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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