The United States Senate has confirmed CIA Director Mike Pompeo as the next Secretary of State by a vote of 57-42. Pompeo’s itinerary for the next few days was released to the press a few hours before his confirmation was made official.
POMPEO will soon set off for Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan (per sources on the hill). A clear effort to visit US allies, after most recently being in the spotlight as the chief diplomat with NK.
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) April 26, 2018
A few hours later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared pictures of, now former, CIA Director Pompeo and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un meeting on the Korean Peninsula.
Great to have Secretary Pompeo confirmed. He will do an excellent job helping @POTUS lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. (photos from previously confirmed Easter weekend trip) pic.twitter.com/o4RNDKVmah
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) April 26, 2018
They are far less flashy and cringe-worthy than the photo op Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had with Un’s father, Kim Jong Il in the 1990’s. The two toasted the non-proliferation agreement signed during the Bill Clinton Administration that clearly didn’t work as the US and North Korea are once again experiencing high tension over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.
Funny enough, when the media asked Press Secretary Sanders about Pompeo meeting Un last week, she said “this administration does not comment on the CIA Director’s travel.” That is true, until the Director becomes America’s top diplomat and then this administration shares the victorious optics with everyone.
There is hope among foreign policy observers and foreign leaders that Pompeo will be able to corral Trump and his inability to stay on message or at least not undercut his cabinet members and diplomats that are abroad trying to maintain stability. Getting North Korea to soften and open up to meaningful dialogue that will bring about results in Far East Asia would be one heck of an opening act for Pompeo.