Mike Pompeo, who doggedly pursued prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has been tapped to become the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
President-elect Donald J. Trump, on Friday, announced plans to appoint Pompeo, a Republican Congressman from Kansas, to lead the CIA. Pompeo, Trump said, “has served our country with honor and spent his life fighting for the security of our citizens.”
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The 52-year-old Pompeo was first elected to Congress in 2010. A former captain in the U.S. Army, Pompeo is perhaps best known to the general public for his role in the Benghazi hearings.
In the congressional hearings, staged last October, Pompeo questioned Clinton’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate which claimed the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. At issue was the close access Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal had to the Secretary of State – personal email and cell phone number – that Ambassador Stevens did not.
“Hillary Clinton failed to lead,” Pompeo told reporters after the hearing.
Pompeo earned his law degree from Harvard University. He served in the Army from 1986 to 1991 and went on to start his own aerospace company with aid from Koch Industries.
At CIA, Pompeo replaces John O. Brennan, who has served in such capacity since March of 2013.
“The Tea Party now controls the drones,” an unnamed CIA employee told the Daily Beast.
Pompeo’s ascension could be dicey for the U.S.-Russian restart. He is on record as saying Edward Snowden, a former U.S. defense contractor, should be brought back from Russia and given a death sentence.
“(Snowden) put friends of mine, friends of yours who serve in the military today at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers,” Pompeo said on CSPAN’s Washington Journal in February.
The U.S. Senate must first confirm Pompeo and with Republicans in the majority that should be no problem. Pompeo, who is married with one son, graduated first in his class at West Point. His first order of business appears to be a shredding of the Obama administration’s “Iran Deal.”
“I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” Pompeo tweeted on Thursday.
A civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. government, CIA is headquartered in Langley, Virginia and has an estimated 21,575 employees. CIA’s annual budget is estimated at $15 billion.
"I am honored to have been given this opportunity to serve and to work alongside President-elect Donald J. Trump to keep America safe. I also look forward to working with America's intelligence warriors, who do so much to protect Americans each and every day," Pompeo said.