Shelby, Jones vote to confirm Pompeo

Published 1:54 am Friday, April 27, 2018

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) both voted Thursday to confirm Mike Pompeo to be the next U.S. Secretary of State.

Pompeo was confirmed as secretary of state Thursday. Both Alabama senators supported the nomination.

President Donald Trump nominated Pompeo to the cabinet position last month. Prior to his confirmation, Pompeo served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In a conference call with Alabama reporters and editors just before the vote on Tuesday, Jones confirmed his plans to support Pompeo.

“I think a number of my Democratic colleagues will vote for him,” Jones said. “It’s not as easy a vote as it often is for a Secretary of State. There are a lot of things in the director’s background that gave people some pause, as it did myself.

“There are a lot of things going on in this world,” Jones said. “When I met with Director Pompeo, he assured me he would put diplomacy first. I do believe him, and take him at his word.”

Jones said he was treating the nomination as he treats every issue – not as a party issue but a people issue.

“There are folks appointed by this administration that are probably not people I would appoint if I were president or king,” Jones said. But President Trump is due to have his nominations confirmed.”

Shelby, in a statement released Thursday afternoon, said, “We live in a dangerous world, and it is vital that we have our country’s top diplomat in place. Mike Pompeo is well-qualified for this position and will utilize his former experience to serve as an essential member of the president’s team. I am proud to have voted for his confirmation and look forward to working with him to continue prioritizing the safety and security of the United States.”

Pompeo previously served as a U.S. Congressman for Kansas’s fourth district, where he sat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the House Select Committee on Benghazi. As a former military officer, he patrolled the Iron Curtain in West Germany before the falling of the Berlin Wall. Pompeo graduated first in his class from West Point and later received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.