Former CIA director Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as secretary of state after the Senate voted 57-42 to approve him as America’s top diplomat.
Mike Pompeo had been accused by Democrats of being a war hawk and harboring anti-Muslim and homophobic views.
He is the second secretary of state under Trump administration. Rex Tillerson, was fired last month by the president via Twitter amid a personality clash.
On April 26, Republican senators, who control the Senate, voted unanimously to confirm Mike Pompeo. Six Democrats joined them.
Some of those Democrats – including North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – come from conservative-leaning states where President Donald Trump won in 2016, and are facing tough midterm elections in November.
The approval comes in time for Mike Pompeo to lead a US delegation to NATO foreign minister talks in Brussels this weekend.
Mike Pompeo is expected to depart for the trip only hours after being formally confirmed.
In a statement, President Trump applauded Mike Pompeo as someone who “will always put the interests of America first”.
The president said: “Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history.”
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Mike Pompeo has been arranging a summit between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The meeting is expected to be held in the coming months.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted a photo of Mike Pompeo watching on TV as the Senate held their vote.
Before Mike Pompeo was confirmed, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, described him as the “perfect person to come in at this time and lead” talks with North Korea.
Over the Easter holiday Mike Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang, where he met Kim Jong-un.
On April 24, President Trump described Kim Jong-un as “very honorable”, after months of deriding him as “Little Rocket Man”.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, also congratulated Mike Pompeo following the confirmation vote.
After travelling to Brussels, Mike Pompeo will next go to Israel, where he is expected to meet PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
According to a statement from the state department, during that trip Mike Pompeo will also visit Saudi Arabia and Jordan to “discuss critical and bilateral issues”.