Trump's Central Intelligence Agency choice oversaw secret prison

Gina Haspel

In Secretary Pompeo, the Europeans - who want to see the Iran nuclear deal continued - will find a more demanding counterpart than Tillerson.

In December, Tillerson had offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a US demand that Pyongyang must accept that any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

Pompeo, who now leads the Central Intelligence Agency, has called for "rolling back" what he called a "disastrous" nuclear agreement negotiated under President Barack Obama.

"It is under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity", Pompeo told reporters at the time. "This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces".

Pompeo described President Obama's effort to cut carbon pollution at home (through the Clean Power Plan) and overseas (through the Paris climate deal) as a "perverse fixation on achieving his economically harmful environmental agenda" and as "worshiping a radical environmental agenda". "He has said how he feels about it and he has given no indication that he has changed his position today. And I won't let any director forget it". For the better part of a year, that put Trump in the position of having to overcome their unified advice, which also was sometimes aligned with the White House national security adviser, HR McMaster.

Although the Senate confirmed Pompeo to his current position 66-32, his hard-line stance on Iran may prove to be a bigger obstacle in his quest to become the top United States diplomat. "The last thing we need is a "yes" man at State who views America's power exclusively through the prism of military power and covert action".

In his farewell speech, Tillerson also notably failed to thank Trump, but he did mention Russian interference in the 2016 election. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, have opposed Trump's threats to unilaterally withdraw. And I have confidence in Pompeo's judgment. "The president has a disdain for the agreement and then he has a plan for withdrawal".

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Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson had clashed on a number of policy issues, with the former secretary of state critical of the decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord and of the Trump administration's rejection of the Iran nuclear deal.

"We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things", Trump said on the White House lawn on Tuesday."When you look at the Iran deal: I think it's bad, I guess he thinks it was OK. If confirmed, I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office", Haspel said. "I think hopefully the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program".

"Pompeo was a hawk on Iran". John McEntee was one of many White House officials yet to receive permanent security clearance because they could not pass Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on draft legislation to alter what they view as flaws in the deal, praised Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of state.

The move would sow more instability in the volatile Trump administration and marks the departure of another moderate who sought to emphasise the United States' strong ties to its allies amid Trump's criticism, critics said. "Now he'll be contributing to it from a policy standpoint at the State Department".

Trump has also faced a cloud of ethics allegations surrounding other members of his Cabinet, including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin - the latter of whom is said to be on thin ice with the president.

"Ms Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA's interrogation programme during the confirmation process".

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