"War is the last resort": Mike Pompeo on relations with Moscow

Protesters stand and chant behind Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo before his confirmation hearing in the Senate on April 12

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U.S. secretary of state nominee, CIA Director Mike Pompeo (far left), alongside Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Trump declared Pompeo's nomination to become the 70-th secretary of country at the exact same March 13 tweet by he dropped Tillerson.

The Trump administration hoped to hustle him through the confirmation process quickly, so the president will have a new secretary of state in place to address the array of looming foreign-policy crises before him, while new national security advisor John Bolton settles into his role. "President Trump isn't one to play games at the negotiating table - and I won't be either", he will say.

But he refused to engage with Shaheen's questions about Mueller's investigation. Lawmakers are concerned the president may seek Mueller's ouster to try to shut down the investigation, and the White House has said it believes Trump does have the authority to fire him if desired.

"I want to fix this deal", Pompeo said.

He also will say that diplomatic efforts with Moscow, while challenging, "must continue".

"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.

Throughout the hearing, he drew a sharp contrast with his ousted predecessor, Rex Tillerson.

He cast his close connection to Trump as an advantage that would help him restore the significance of the department. "The State Department must be at the center of formulating and executing our China policy", said Pompeo.

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Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Pompeo was expected to face questions over his past positions on torture, allegations of Islamophobia and a failure to disclose dealings with a Chinese company, according to reports.

Pompeo, seen as a close ally of Trump's, has faced criticism for his foreign policy views and his hawkish attitude toward countries hostile to the US, like Iran and North Korea.

On Russia, Pompeo was grilled by Sen. "We need continue to work at that", he said. "You should know I treated them with the exact same set of rights", he said, adding later: "My respect for every individual, regardless of the sexual orientation is the same".

"Our administration has developed a strategy to counter Iran to raise that cost", Pompeo said.

"The number of - we call them "no fear complaints" - the statutory requirement decreased from 2016 to 2017 by 40 percent", Pompeo explained.

Among the first issues Pompeo was pressed on in the hearing was whether Trump had talked to him about the Russia investigation looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Pompeo would not say especially if he would recommend a withdrawal if there is absolutely no cure by Trump's might 12 deadline, implying there would possibly be a extension if considerable progress was being made by then. Still, he affirmed that he won't support staying in over the long term unless more restrictions are placed on Tehran.

"I would prefer achieving the president's foreign policy goals with unrelenting diplomacy rather than by sending young men and women to war", he said.

Trump is preparing for a proposed summit in May with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the North's nuclear weapons program, which Kim has said is aimed at deterring a US threat. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also was in attendance at the hearing.

Pompeo has already been involved in the preparations from his Central Intelligence Agency position, but as secretary of state he would have a more public role.

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