The Thursday morning confirmation hearing for Donald TrumpDonald Trump100 days in, Trump's foreign policy plays the strategic ambiguity game IJR kicks off Correspondents' dinner weekend with Gatsby-themed party Bannon reasserts influence in 100 days push MORE’s pick to lead the CIA got off to a dim start.
During his opening remarks, Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: DNC hackers also targeted French presidential candidate | Ex-acting AG Yates to testify at Senate Russia hearing Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Senate Intel Dem has ‘serious concerns’ on Russia probe MORE (D-Va.) began speaking about the intelligence community’s formal assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. election.
Abruptly, the lights went out in the Hart hearing room, plunging it into darkness.
Chairman Richard BurrRichard BurrTrump voter who cast ballot illegally won’t be charged Burr: US in new Cold War with Russia Senator: No signs of GOP 'slow-walking' Russia investigation MORE (R-N.C.) called a recess shortly after. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, present to speak about Pompeo, sat surrounded by lawmakers and press as other senators milled around the well of the hearing room.
Pompeo had been prepared to give opening remarks that appeared crafted to reassure jumpy lawmakers that he can provide nonpartisan intelligence to the White House and smooth a rocky relationship between Langley and the president-elect.
In an opening statement primarily made up of broad analysis of the threats facing the United States, Pompeo praised the CIA’s workforce — but kept his comments on the threat originating from Moscow to a minimum.
“I understand full well that my job, if confirmed, will be to change roles from policymaker to information provider,” he will say, according to prepared remarks.
The hearing was ultimately moved to another room in the Dirksen office building, where Burr reconvened the panel.
"Sometimes in life we find there are no answers to questions," Burr said, noting that he still has no reason for the outage.
But, he joked, "we have ruled out" a connection to Warner's comments on Russia and "a conspiracy on the part of Sen. [Susan] Collins" to highlight critical infrastructure weaknesses.”
Dole kicked off the reconvened hearing with his remarks.
"My eyesight is not too good, so I thought it was perfect in the other room," he joked.