Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he will oppose Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates Dozens of scientists call for deeper investigation into origins of COVID-19, including the lab theory MORE's nomination to serve as secretary of State, in part over the federal Russia probe.

Schumer, one of 15 Senate Democrats who previously supported Pompeo as President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE's CIA director, said he would oppose the secretary of State nomination because Pompeo wouldn't commit to publicly urging Trump not to fire special counsel Bob Mueller.

"I'm going to oppose the nomination of Secretary Pompeo. I haven't said anything 'til today," Schumer told reporters when asked about the nomination.

The Democratic leader said that while he was "disappointed" in Pompeo's committee hearing, the two had "very good discussions" and he was "pleasantly surprised" by Pompeo's stance on Russia and sanctions.

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But Schumer pointed to two reasons for his decision to oppose Pompeo: his refusal to publicly tell Trump not to fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensten and his refusal to walk back some of Trump's "nasty comments" about Muslim-Americans or individuals from South Asia. 

"I am voting 'no' for those reasons, and I think people have good reasons to vote 'no' for Secretary Pompeo, both on the foreign policy sphere, and in these areas," Schumer added. 

Schumer said he asked Pompeo in a meeting after his confirmation hearing if he would "speak out publicly and forcefully that the president should not fire Mueller or Rosenstein. [But] he demurred." 

Schumer's opposition won't impact Pompeo's ability to be confirmed.

Pompeo won a surprise favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week after Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) made an eleventh hour vote switch to support him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (R-Ky.) filed cloture on Pompeo's nomination Tuesday, setting up an initial vote for Thursday.

With every Republican — except Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE, who is in his home state of Arizona — expected to vote for Pompeo, he will have the simple majority to be confirmed.

Three Democratic senators — Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Manchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' MORE (W.Va.) — have also said they will vote for Pompeo.