Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday that he told Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo the committee would “move through the confirmation process as quickly as we could.”
Corker acknowledged to reporters, though, that he “never really had much, if any, dealings with” Pompeo, the current CIA director who Trump announced Tuesday would take Rex Tillerson’s place leading the State Department.
“I’m not sure we’ve even met,” Corker said of Pompeo. “I think we might have met once.”
Corker said he hadn’t yet had a chance to speak with Tillerson following Trump’s announcement.
In October of last year, the Tennessee senator said Tillerson was one of three people — along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — who “help separate our country from chaos.”
Asked about that remark Tuesday, Corker said “Pompeo seems like someone who also has a distinguished background.”
“I just need to get to know him and sit down with him,” he added. The senator said Trump called him to discuss the change at 9:58 a.m., well after the President had publicized it on his Twitter account.
Corker, though he votes with President Donald Trump’s legislative priorities the vast majority of the time, has criticized Trump in the past. In September of last year he announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018.
Corker’s office released an official statement shortly after he spoke to reporters:
NEW: Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker says hearing on Mike Pompeo's nomination will be held in April. "The committee will consider his nomination as expeditiously as possible.” https://t.co/c5FbIulWFw pic.twitter.com/wf9J7FUpVw
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2018