Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) broke with Demcorats on Monday and announced he would support Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state when the nomination is moved to the Senate floor for a vote.
Manchin cited Pompeo’s “foreign policy perspectives,” his time as head of the CIA and his “exemplary career in public service” as rationale for his support, a move most Democrats have indicated they won’t make.
After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) April 23, 2018
Heading into a key Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote Monday, Democrats on the committee indicated their opposition to Pompeo’s nomination, even Democrats who voted in favor of Pompeo’s appointment to run the CIA last year. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has already said he would not support Pompeo to run the State Department.
Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) announced last week that she would also back Pompeo.
While the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may not have the votes it needs to give a positive recommendation of Pompeo, the full Senate is still expected to consider Pompeo’s nomination later on this week.
Machin’s backing follows outcry of obstruction from White House spokespeople and President Trump himself Monday morning, following reports of uncertainty over whether Pompeo would be approved.
Early Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told “Fox and Friends” that Democrats will have to “decide whether they love this country more than they hate this President.” Trump followed up with a tweet, calling Democrats “obstructionists.”