Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo could be in Utah this month


SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state could be in Salt Lake City at the end of the month.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo is scheduled to be one of the speakers at Rep. Chris Stewart’s annual security summit March 26 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Trump announced Tuesday that he will replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Pompeo. He must be confirmed by the Senate.

Pompeo, a former Kansas GOP congressman and tea party leader, is among seven speakers Stewart, R-Utah, lined for the March 26 conference, this one titled “Defining America’s Role in the World.” The speakers will discuss national security, foreign relations and the importance of a free press.

Other speakers include Tunisian Ambassador Faycal Gouia, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said in a statement Tuesday that he expects to hold confirmation hearings for Pompeo in April.

Neither Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, nor Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, addressed Trump’s firing of Tillerson Tuesday but praised Pompeo in brief statements.

“These are complex and challenging times on the world stage, and I have full confidence that Mr. Pompeo is up to the task of serving as America’s senior diplomat,” the senator said.

Hatch also said he’s eager to work with Pompeo to bring Joshua and Thamy Holt home from Venezuela. Joshua Holt, of Riverton, has been held in jail since June 2016 on what U.S. authorities says are trumped-up weapons charges.

Lee said Pompeo will be confirmed as the next secretary of state.

“Look, this is a serious man who has done great work within the Central Intelligence Agency and he’s someone I’ve come to know, like, and trust over the years,” Lee said.

The Senate confirmed Pompeo as CIA director by a vote of 66-32.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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