Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he will oppose Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Dems ask former CIA chief John Brennan for Iran briefing: report 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 John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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 PaulBolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran US ambassador to Germany ruffles State Department with budget stand Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon MORE (R-Ky.) made an eleventh hour vote switch to support him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 McCainPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump 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 HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyObama honors 'American statesman' Richard Lugar Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87 Ralph Reed: Biden is a 'formidable and strong candidate' MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLabor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners Labor leader: Trump has stopped erosion of coal jobs Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat MORE (W.Va.) — have also said they will vote for Pompeo.