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On March 13, Trump announced that he fired former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated Pompeo to take his place.

In one prominent example, Pompeo suggested he would return some of the US diplomats who were withdrawn from Cuba a year ago after they were sickened in what some suspect was a covert attack with Havana's knowledge.

U.S. Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo asserted Thursday the importance of Washington's arms sales to Taiwan, which he noted is consistent with its one-China policy. He called for tougher measures against Russian Federation for allegedly interfering in Ukraine and meddling in the 2016 United States elections, along with alleged human rights violations. "And I do not necessarily concur that you are putting forward the values of our nation when you believe there are people in our country are perverse", he responded. Moscow denies doing so and Trump has denied collusion by his campaign.

"With religious persecution on the rise globally, intertwined closely with issues of national security, I have confidence in Mike Pompeo's track record of demonstrating great concern for religious freedom internationally, combined with his broad understanding of national security and the importance of diplomacy and development", said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA. Pompeo was willing to say that he could see circumstances in which America would have ground troops occupy North Korea.

"It is the intention of the president and the administration not to do that this time to make sure that before we provide rewards, we get the outcome permanently, irreversibly, that it is what we hope to achieve", Pompeo said. But he ducked and dodged when asked whether he supports President Donald Trump's pounding criticism of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The move came less than a month after the U.S. government targeted Russian intelligence services with CAATSA sanctions.

Others had serious concerns about how Pompeo would perform as Secretary of State, which is one of the country's oldest and most important positions, dating back to the administration of George Washington.

But questioned twice as to what the exact goal of the Trump-Kim summit, Pompeo was explicit.

Pompeo's views on global issues are well-known - he was questioned extensively by senators for his confirmation to run the Central Intelligence Agency - but Democratic senators have raised questions about his fitness to be top diplomat, given his hawkish views and past comments about minorities.

At a separate congressional hearing, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the aim was for a negotiated solution to the North Korean crisis. The Center's representatives visited the place of the alleged attack and questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of chemical poisoning.

But on Thursday, he strove to emphasize that he would work to "fix" the deal with sceptical European allies by a May 12 deadline.

On a longer-term strategy in Syria, Pompeo said: "The president made clear he wants to get out".

The two sparred in an exchange about what Pompeo has claimed is a "special obligation" that falls on Muslim leaders when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks in America.

Pompeo also has a long history of ties to Islamophobic organizations, and the National Iranian American Council has warned that Pompeo's confirmation would threaten the Iran nuclear deal and increase the risk of a US attack on Iran. "I can't see very well, so you look good", said Mr. Dole, 94.

Paul quoted the Constitution to Pompeo, who seemed to disagree with Paul's interpretation of the powers the President of the United States has to enter into conflicts.

On Thursday, Trump's new national security adviser, John Bolton, met separately with South Korea's National Security Office director, Chung Eui-yong, who led a South Korean delegation that met Kim Jong Un last month, and his Japanese counterpart Shotaro Yachi.

Citing a news article, Menendez asked Pompeo about a meeting at the White House past year when the president asked the CIA director and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, to remain behind to speak with him. "Pompeo will validate and encourage the president's worst and most risky instincts, and for that reason, I will oppose his nomination".