Mike Pompeo hearing: Key takeaways on Russia, North Korea, Iran

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Pressed by Senator Ben Cardin on whether the USA would withdraw, Mr Pompeo said: "If there's no chance that we can fix it, I will recommend to the president that we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal".

KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS/NewscomSome senators may be anxious that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, tapped by Donald Trump to be the next secretary of state, agrees with the president too much. Sen.

U.S. secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo has promised that he will be willing to break from President Donald Trump if necessary, saying he will take a tough line on Russian Federation and wants to "fix" the Iran nuclear deal.

"For a long time multiple administrations have found that the president has authority to take certain actions without first coming to congress to seek approval", Pompeo said Thursday, providing Kosovo as an example.

"Senator, my record on this is unambiguous", Pompeo said.

Leaving no stone unturned, Menendez also grilled Pompeo on conversations he's had with the president regarding special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Or was it a reflection of the inherent limits of U.S. -Russia relations under Putin? "I treated them with the exact same set of rights", Pompeo asserted.

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 USA threat. The onus for worsening relations, Pompeo told Sen.

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"(There is) a Chinese government that is intent on expanding their capacity to have not only economic influence on those countries, but using that economic tool to achieve political influence in those countries as well", Pompeo said. "To do that, we need a strong diplomatic corps, and an aid that complements and enhances our foreign policy". Will you advocate for robust diplomacy or will you take America into unnecessary and costly wars?

"You've said in a speech ..."

At his hearing today, Director Pompeo confirmed the IAEA assessment that Iran is in full compliance with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - yet, he supports continuing President Trump's risky proposal to unilaterally withdrawal from the agreement and has advocated for unilateral military action in the past. According to the paper, when the meeting was over, Trump told Pompeo and Coats to stay in the room, and the president proceeded to complain about the Russian Federation investigation, which was being led by then-FBI Director James Comey.

Mr Pompeo refused to speculate about Washington's next step if this did not happen. A year after it was signed, he wrote that while the deal prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons for a few years, provisions in the deal that allow Iran to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial-scale in the future means that eventually it will be able to develop nuclear weapons.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who met with Pompeo on Monday, was asked by reporters if he came away from their meeting thinking Pompeo was well-versed in world affairs.

"It depends, clearly, if we're close", said Pompeo, who was one of the most outspoken critics of the accord. "You're going to be dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues", said Booker, who also pressed Pompeo on his views of Islam and Muslims, essentially accusing him of bigotry for his association with prominent figures who believe terrorists base their actions on Islamic doctrines and that Muslims have a special obligation to report terror threats in their communities.

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