Sen. Chris Coons Announces Opposition to Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State

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A skeptical Sen. Rand Paul met behind closed doors with President Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state on Thursday, as the president tried to avoid an embarrassing defeat for his Cabinet pick.

Democratic US Senator Heidi Heitkamp said on Thursday she would vote in favor of Republican President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, making it likely that the Central Intelligence Agency director will be confirmed to take the post.

Pompeo and Kim had a "great meeting", Trump said, adding, "He's very smart but he gets along with people".

Click on the video above Cotton and other senators speak about Pompeo's confirmation.

An unfavorable committee vote would be a major setback for Pompeo's confirmation, but wouldn't sink it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could bring Pompeo straight to the Senate floor regardless of whether the committee reported the nomination out of committee.

"I can not imagine that senators like Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Joe Donnelly from IN and Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, who are facing re-election IN states that our president won by landslide elections are going to oppose an obviously qualified nominee for whom they voted previous year", Cotton said. Now, thanks to the opposition from those 10 Democrats and Paul, it appears that Pompeo could soon become the first to receive a negative recommendation.

Pompeo's meeting with Paul came after Trump, who is spending the week at his resort in Palm Beach, said Wednesday he wasn't anxious about Pompeo's confirmation and that Paul would come through for him.

"If he's confirmed, I'll hold Mr. Pompeo accountable to make sure he advances our country's leadership in the world and supports our embassies - including by filling critical jobs that have been vacant, like for the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea". "I'm leaning against", Coons said Wednesday.

"I think it's great", said Inhofe.

"It would send a very bad sign, and it would set back the preparations and perhaps even the results of that upcoming summit for the Senate Democrats to oppose, as a bloc, Mike Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of state", Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters hosted by the White House.

"I haven't made up my mind", Manchin said this week. Nine of the 10 Democrats have announced they oppose Pompeo.

We do need to rethink all these wars in the Middle East, we need to rethink our involvement in them, we really need to have some other countries doing some of the fighting and the policing. "It would be a big deal for me to change my position on him", he said.

Sergio Gor, Paul's deputy chief of staff, said the senator had agreed to meet with Pompeo but nothing else had changed.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he did not foresee the nuclear option coming into play.