President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, deserves to be confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat, asserts USA Today’s Editorial Board. While his political background and views may be hawkish, he has shown in the Senate hearing that he can be moderate, diplomatic and can work with both the president and Congress. Despite previously denouncing the Iran deal, agreeing with Trump to pull out of the Paris climate accord and asserting that Russian interference did not impact the 2016 presidential election, he currently pledged to support a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear deal if it fails and vowed to push for global recognition of LGBTQ rights. He also he has a strong record of being tough on Moscow. Pompeo has the brains and potential to work effectively around the world on America’s behalf.
Despite a restrained Senate confirmation hearing, Mike Pompeo’s political record shows that he is far from being diplomatic or a champion of human rights and tolerance, and therefore should not be nominated as US Secretary of State, argues Human Rights Watch Washington Director Sarah Margon in USA Today. Aside from advocating mass surveillance practices that could infringe on personal privacy rights, Pompeo has promoted bigotry, supported the CIA’s use of torture, equated gay sex with perversion, and advocated legislation restricting women’s reproductive rights. The latter particularly goes against the State Department's agenda of advancing gender equality and women’s rights abroad. The Secretary of State should embrace universal human, health and reproductive rights and dispel bigotry. Mike Pompeo has shown that he does not.