Corker: Pompeo ‘Seems Like’ He ‘Has A Distinguished Background’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30:  Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) looks on as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delivers the annual financial stability report to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Mnuchin said the Treasury can extend the government's debt limit suspension period into February before it exhausts its borrowing ability.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Pete Marovich/Getty Images North America

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:

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