China continues its provocations in South, East China seas: Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo is President Trump's nominee for Secretary of State

U.S. President Donald Trump's designated secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is due to appear at his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, where he will tell lawmakers in the upper chamber of Congress that years of soft policy towards Russian Federation are "now over".

Trump has reportedly been mulling whether to fire Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into Russian interference. Bob Menendez sought assurances from Pompeo that he would be able to move beyond partisan politics rather than "enable President Trump's worst instincts".

Pompeo is to say "President Trump isn't one to play games at the negotiating table, and I won't be either".

Pompeo will say that the stakes are high in tackling North Korea's nuclear programs, but will express confidence in Trump's ability to negotiate a deal with Pyongyang.

According to separate reports, Pompeo was later among several senior administration officials asked by Trump to contact media on his behalf to defend his image.

"The decision to nominate anti-LGBT Mike Pompeo could have serious consequences for the USA and LGBT people around the globe", Griffin said in a statement. Pompeo said that his record showed he had treated all Central Intelligence Agency officers with dignity and respect, and that he would do the same at the State Department.

He said this in his prepared remarks for his conformation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, excerpts of which was released by the White House late last night. He lamented the "demoralizing" vacancies at the top echelons of the department during Tillerson's tenure and said he planned to fill those vacancies, asking the Senate's help to get nominees confirmed.

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"We need to push back in each place we confront them", Pompeo said, including the economic and cyber arenas. Trump taunted Russia Wednesday, saying on Twitter that missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

If confirmed, Mike Pompeo will serve as the next secretary of State for the United States as unsafe crises loom with Russia, North Korea and Iran. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last month announced he would refuse to support Pompeo's nomination, upsetting the committee's narrow 11-10 seat Republican majority. "I'll do my best to pick up your calls on the first ring, and I'll be a regular visitor to the Capitol", Pompeo said in the statement.

He added that "there should be no negative inferences or for that matter positive inferences ... that while these investigations continue I not speak to" any of the conversations he had with Trump. Pompeo in closed-door meetings rebuffed criticisms he was a warmonger and assured lawmakers he would value diversity at the State Department, congressional staffers tell Foreign Policy.

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"His reputation is not as strong on standing up to the president", Sen. Pompeo responded that he thought Trump's course of action there has been the right one - that the USA has the goal of leaving but can't do so until there is more stability in the country.

"But there is much diplomatic work left to do, including supporting the President's intent to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un", he said.

Trump's first secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's efforts to reorganize and streamline the department wound up hollowing out its top ranks, said Barbara Stephenson, president of the American Foreign Service Association, a professional organization and labor union.

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