Former senior government officials come out in support of Pompeo

Former senior government officials come out in support of Pompeo
© Getty Images

A bipartisan group of former senior government officials expressed their support of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoKim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Pompeo offers condolences for Pakistani exchange student killed in Texas shooting Trump nominates Pacific Command head as ambassador to South Korea MORE for secretary of State in a letter Wednesday.

The letter, addressed to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump to hold Nashville rally amid efforts to boost GOP Senate hopeful Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Tax reform postmortem reveals lethal dose of crony capitalism MORE (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger MORE (D-N.J.), was signed by 30 national security experts. It comes a day ahead of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Thursday confirmation hearing for Pompeo.

Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency under President George W. Bush and President Obama; former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jamil Jaffer and former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersSenate panel breaks with House, says Russia sought to help Trump win in 2016 Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns lawmakers with push to help Chinese company | Facebook suspends 200 apps over data practices | Dems want answers on Cohen payments | Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe MORE (R-Mich.) tout Pompeo's qualifications and express concerns about the current state of the department in the letter.

"Internally, the Department faces uncertainty about its place and its future with a hiring freeze, a pending reorganization, and a concern about its place in the national security process," they wrote.

"We all firmly believe the Department of State plays a crucial role in the national security process and that Director Pompeo is in a unique position to bring the Department back to a place where it can play its historically central role in this process," the letter continued.


The group said they think Pompeo could bring stability to the State Department, arguing he will work "diligently to restore the Department of State to its rightful place" if confirmed.

"When Director Pompeo arrived at CIA in January 2017, he faced an anxious workforce," the letter reads. "A major reorganization had just occurred at CIA and some of its personnel questioned what direction the new Director and the new President would take them. Director Pompeo quickly took the pulse of the building, determined what was working and what wasn’t and moved forward smartly."

While Pompeo coasted through the nomination process for his current post, receiving 66 votes in the upper chamber, his road to succeeding former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump nominates Pacific Command head as ambassador to South Korea Trump’s offer could be just what Pyongyang was seeking BUILD Act must build in US values for global development projects MORE is expected to be more difficult.

A number of Democrats who previously voted in favor of Pompeo, including Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineKim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Singer Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington This week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill MORE (D-Va.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary MORE (D-N.H.), have expressed concerns over his hawkish policy positions.