Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Why we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he will oppose Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoState Department blocks reporters from Pompeo briefing with faith-based media: report The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Pompeo jokes he'll be secretary of State until Trump 'tweets me out of office' 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 TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 PaulTrio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program Trump keeps tight grip on GOP GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (R-Ky.) made an eleventh hour vote switch to support him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left 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 McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump: 'I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be' Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting 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 HeitkampAnnual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (W.Va.) — have also said they will vote for Pompeo.