Trying to distance himself with Trump’s cozy stance with Russia, Rep. Mike Pompeo said he would stand tough against Russia who had acted very aggressive and disruptive in world affairs.
Pompeo, Trump’s pick for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had nothing good to say about Russia during his confirmation hearing testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The Associated Press reports Pompeo responded to questions about Russia, in part, by saying, “Russia has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying the Ukraine, threatening Europe and doing nothing to aid in the defeat of ISIS.”
Trump acknowledged Russian cyber-activity during his press conference Wednesday, but refused to answer questions from a CNN reporter because Trump said CNN and others were spreading “fake news, by reporting information he said the intelligence community had leaked to them.
Pompeo’s first challenge – should he be confirmed as CIA chief – may be to improve relations between the president-elect and the the intelligence community that past presidents have relied heavily upon.
Pompeo also said Iran was a big player in helping to destabilize the Middle East, and while he has been a critic of the Iran nuclear deal with the Obama Administration, he would execute the deal and hold Iran’s feet to the fire. He acknowledged North Korea is also a dangerous player due to its work on ballistic missiles.
It’s thought that Pompeo, who was a vocal member of the House committee during the Benghazi investigation, will likely be confirmed.