CIA Director Mike Pompeo is many things—an Islamophobic bigot, a homophobic bigot, a man seemingly willing to eagerly accept stolen valor... the list goes on and on. One thing he might not be, however, is “endorsed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the next secretary of state”—an embarrassing prospect that has the Trump administration freaking out to the point that Sarah Huckabee Sanders felt compelled to go on national TV and spew jingoistic word vomit like this:
Look, at some point Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this president. And they have to decide that they want to put the safety and the security and the diplomacy of our country ahead of their own political games. And we’re very hopeful that they will.
Her boss joined in the fun a little later.
Currently, Pompeo is set to become the first secretary of state nominee to receive a thumbs-down from the Foreign Relations Committee in nearly a century. (This does not mean that Pompeo is doomed, since Mitch McConnell can still bring his nomination to the floor without an endorsement from the committee.) And while much of the opposition to Pompeo’s nomination comes from Senate Democrats, the deciding committee vote will likely come from Republican Rand Paul, who has criticized his ultra-hawkish foreign policy.
“I’m perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next,” Paul said after President Trump named Pompeo as his choice to lead the state department last month.
There is, however, one high-profile Democrat who seems willing to have Pompeo serve as America’s top diplomat: Hillary Clinton, who has reportedly been consulting with Pompeo for his potential stint in the State Department. Cool!
Update, 7:17 PM: After a last-minute reversal by Rand Paul—who came up with the dubious excuse that he had decided to back Pompeo after all because Pompeo had vaguely assured him that he didn’t think the Iraq War was good—the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-9 to recommend Pompeo’s nomination, thus averting Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ worst fears.