Former senior government officials come out in support of Pompeo

Former senior government officials come out in support of Pompeo
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A bipartisan group of former senior government officials expressed their support of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump admin to discuss sending additional military force to Middle East amid Iran tensions: report Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War MORE for secretary of State in a letter Wednesday.

The letter, addressed to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThere is a severe physician shortage and it will only worsen Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Ending the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean 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 RogersDem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes Dem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes House panel OKs space military branch 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.

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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 TillersonBolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Trump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds MORE is expected to be more difficult.

A number of Democrats who previously voted in favor of Pompeo, including Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTexas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Texas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Democrats push to make national security a 2020 wedge issue MORE (D-Va.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDesign leaks for Harriet Tubman bill after Mnuchin announces delay Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill after Mnuchin announces delay Bipartisan senators push new bill to improve foreign lobbying disclosures MORE (D-N.H.), have expressed concerns over his hawkish policy positions.