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Trump CIA pick pledges to be objective intel collector

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., spoke on Capitol Hill, in Oct. 2015, in Washington. Donald Trump’s pick to run the CIA faces a Senate confirmation hearing amid a testy standoff between the president-elect and the spy community.

WASHINGTON >> Donald Trump’s pick to run the CIA said today he understands he would have to make the transition from a partisan, policymaking lawmaker to an objective intelligence collector as the United States faces a complicated and broad array of threats.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, a four-term, conservative Republican from Kansas, made the comments in testimony prepared for his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee. If confirmed by the Senate as CIA director, Pompeo could be caught in the role of mending relations between Trump and intelligence officials after a testy standoff over suspected Russian meddling during the 2016 election.

Pompeo served on the partisan House committee set up to investigate the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Trump has for the most part been dismissive of intelligence agencies’ findings that Russia, specifically President Vladimir Putin, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election with the goal of electing Trump. The CIA is one of three main intelligence agencies that came to that conclusion.

On Wednesday, Trump acknowledged Russia was responsible but speculated that intelligence agencies might have leaked to news organizations details about a classified briefing with him that included unsubstantiated allegations about his ties to Russia.

Pompeo graduated first in the Class of 1986 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served in the Army at a time when the Soviet Union was America’s main adversary.

Pompeo has been critical of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, which granted Tehran sanctions relief for rolling back its nuclear weapons program. And he has said that Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in terrorist attacks if they do not denounce those made in the name of Islam. He has also called for the government to increase surveillance to counter terrorists, not roll it back, and he wants Congress to play a larger role in overseeing intelligence agency activity.

The congressman also supports the use of waterboarding to elicit information from suspected terrorists.

Pompeo initially backed Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, but then promoted Trump’s bid for the White House. Rubio is a member of the Senate intelligence committee.

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  • The report that Russia had compromised Trump was prepared by opposition researchers hired by Trump’s Republican primary opponents as well as by Democrats and was widely circulated last year among politicians and the press. Congressional committees were briefed last year by the intelligence services, and articles about the existence of the report appeared in the press prior to the election. The news is that the intelligence services, after investigating the report for perhaps a year, thought that its existence, in spite of its unproven validity, was serious enough that both Trump and Obama needed to be warned. For Trump to attack the intelligence services for leaking the report not only further damages his relationship with the services on which our national security relies, but also ignores the history of the documents. The report of the British ex-intelligence service officer didn’t originate with US intelligence; it was taken to US intelligence services by persons, John McCain among them, who thought that the allegations were extremely serious and needed to be investigated.

    Trump’s denials would be more plausible if he hadn’t surrounded himself with Putin sycophants (or worse) like Paul Manafort, a corrupt tool who was complicit in Putin’s incursion into Ukraine, Carter Page and General Flynn (who, before Obama fired him, was known in the intelligence services for “Flynn facts” and was likely the cause for James Woolsey’s abrupt departure from the Trump transition team).

  • PE Trump begins the #DrainTheSwamp process with CIA pick Rep. Mike Pompeo.
    Anxious to see who PE Trump will replace the other of O’s politicized Intelligence Talking Puppet Heads.

    • But, but this is an AP story in the Star Advertiser. JohnnyRayBobRicey says that AP and Star Advertiser are fake news, therefore this story is fake but he’s not whining about it being FAKE NEWS! Could it be that it’s *not* fake news? Could it be that mainstream media sometimes has *real* news? You be the judge.

    • @ kuroiwaj
      Agree.
      I’m inline with his ideas and hope he can influence law changes on the Intel gathering front pre 2009.

      8 more days til #MAGA begins.

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