From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will
proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination
of Mike Pompeo to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which
the clerk will report.
The bill clerk read the nomination of Mike Pompeo, of Kansas, to be
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 6
hours of debate, equally divided in the usual form.
The majority whip is recognized.
Welcoming A New Day In The Country
Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I had a chance to listen to our friend,
the Democratic leader, and it is becoming clearer exactly what his
strategy is for dealing with the aftermath of the November 8 election,
in which Republicans retained the majority in both Houses of Congress
and picked up the White House to boot. I realize it was a shock to our
Democratic friends--the election that occurred on November 8 and the
verdict of the American people, given the choices they were presented.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the Democratic leader, the
Senator from New York, believes that Democrats and the country are
better served by being an opposition party--in other words, opposed to
everything that is proposed by either the President or anybody on this
side of the aisle.
Rather than working together with us to try to build consensus, to
try to address the challenges that face the country, what they are
going to do is to sit back and enjoy the failure--which is what they
are hoping and praying for--when we try to do this alone. We know our
system is built on bipartisan cooperation and consensus building, and I
have to tell my friend, the Senator from New York, Mr. Schumer, that I
doubt his party's political prospects are going to improve as long as
people see them as a restoration of the status quo at a time when they
voted for change. Rather than working together to find solutions to the
challenges that face our country, they have decided to sit back, drag
their heels, oppose, and say no to each and every constructive solution
offered by either the White House or this side of the aisle. I really
do hope they decide that this is a recipe for political failure,
continuing to wander in the political wilderness.
At a time when the voters voted for change, they are arguing for a
restoration of the status quo--the direction that the country, the
majority of voters, and certainly those whose votes are reflected in
the Electoral College felt was a wrong direction for our country.
So I believe that most Americans greeted the peaceful transfer of
as reflected by the inaugural ceremonies of last Friday with relief and
welcomed a new day in the country.
My wife and I had the chance to attend those inauguration ceremonies.
Let me first say to President Trump, the First Lady, and his family, as
they start this journey leading the Nation, that I wish you well and
offer my help, because I believe if President Trump succeeds and if his
administration succeeds, then there is a better chance that the country
will succeed, and it is not going to happen by opposing each and every
idea of the administration, which our Democratic colleagues seem bound
and determined to do, being seen as merely obstructionist and being
naysayers rather than constructive solution finders for the problems
that confront the country. I am very hopeful about what the future
holds, and I look forward to working with the new President in the
years ahead to strengthen our country.
One obvious way all of us can support this peaceful transition of
power, which is the hallmark of our democracy, is by making sure that
President Trump has the counsel and advice of the men and women he has
chosen to serve with him in his Cabinet. Our Democratic colleagues at
one point want to criticize the President for not making a smoother
transition, while enjoying every difficulty encountered, at the same
time by denying him the Cabinet that he has chosen to serve with him to
lead the country.
We have said it before, but it bears repetition. On January 20, 2009,
when President Obama was sworn into office, people on this side of the
aisle weren't necessarily happy with the electoral outcome. Our
preferred candidate did not win, but that didn't mean we obstructed
President Obama's choice for his Cabinet. Indeed, we agreed to seven
Cabinet members being approved on the first day that President Obama
took office, on January 20, 2009.
Well, all of these positions are important and are necessary to make
the transition of power in our democracy as smooth as possible. Posts
such as Secretary of Defense and Homeland Security and the CIA
Director, which we will be voting on later today, are particularly
critical, given the national security responsibilities associated with
While I am glad we confirmed General Mattis and General Kelly on
Friday, we should have voted on the nomination of Congressman Mike
Pompeo to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mike Pompeo is well qualified for this position as CIA Director, but
unfortunately some of our colleagues want to slow-walk his nomination.
How is it that 89 Members could vote to proceed to confirm his
nomination for today last Friday but still they denied us the
opportunity for an up-or-down vote last Friday, which we should have
Our colleague from Oregon said that he wanted some debate during the
light of day. Well, we were willing to stay as late, or into the
weekend, as we needed to in order to get Congressman Pompeo confirmed,
but, no, he wanted to delay it until today, so presumably there would
be less competition for airtime on the evening news. I can't think of
another reason he would have delayed that confirmation.
I just want to remind our colleagues that our country continues to
face incredible threats, and they are not hitting the pause button.
Instead, it is possible that some of our foes could try to test the
resolve of President Trump and his new Cabinet during this period of
transition, where everybody recognizes this is a period of
vulnerability for the United States.
I am reminded of a sobering quote from the Director of National
Intelligence during a hearing in 2016. Former Director Clapper, who
served our intelligence community for more than half a century,
testified: “In my 50-plus years in the intelligence business,” he
said, “I cannot recall a more diverse array of challenges and crises
than we confront today.” That is the former Director of National
Intelligence, James Clapper, who spent more than half a century in the
So with that in mind, you would think that we could all agree that
the President needs his national security Cabinet at his side,
particularly his CIA Director, a Cabinet position integral to keeping
our country safe. That is why, in my view, we must confirm Congressman
Pompeo as the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency as soon
For those who don't know Mike well, he served in Congress for several
years, including as a member of the House Intelligence Committee. And I
have no doubt, as Director, he will do all he can to make sure that
those serving in the intelligence community have the tools and the
respect they need and deserve to keep America safe.
So we need to get this done and to get this done without further
delay. Let's not keep the President of the United States from his team,
a team that could help him better serve and better protect the people
of this country.
And, even more, we need to have our Democratic colleagues recognize
that the election is over. The votes have been counted. President Trump
has been sworn into office. So we need to end the electioneering that
has succeeded all of their activities since November 8. They haven't
stopped the campaign.
The campaign is over. The voters have spoken. And we need to get busy
governing on behalf of all the American people.
Some of the comments that were made on the floor last week by Senator
Wyden from Oregon--when he objected to voting on the nomination of
Congressman Pompeo, he raised the issue of surveillance programs and
referred to the so-called 215 program that was designed to collect
metadata, but not content, of foreign nationals. He referred to the USA
FREEDOM Act, which Congress passed and which replaced the old 215
program with a new approach. But one thing he overlooked is that both
the Senator from Oregon and I voted for final passage of the USA
FREEDOM Act, as did Congressman Pompeo. They voted for the same piece
of legislation, yet the Senator from Oregon wants to take the new CIA
Director to task for apparently having some divergent views from his
own, when they both voted for the same reforms in the USA FREEDOM Act.
That is why it seems so disingenuous when he suggests on the floor, as
he has done, that Congressman Pompeo does not believe that there are
any legal boundaries for surveillance programs. Indeed, in the
Intelligence Committee last week, Congressman Pompeo, during his open
hearing, said he would abide by the law of the land, as I am sure he
will, and as we all must.
Surely the Senator from Oregon does not think that support for
expanding access to certain metadata is grounds for opposing the
nominee. In fact, 59 Members of the Senate and a majority of the
Senate's Intelligence Committee last year voted to make clear that the
government should be able to access Internet metadata with the use of
national security letters.
Just to be clear, we are not talking about content. We are not
talking about private information that is subject to a reasonable
expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution. When the government wants access to private information,
subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy, it requires a search
warrant, along with establishing probable cause to believe that a crime
or threat is present.
So it is a little disingenuous to be arguing about metadata, which is
not content, which is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, which
doesn't require a search warrant, as a reason to object to Congressman
Pompeo's nomination as CIA Director. Indeed, as I pointed out, the
Senator from Oregon and Congressman Pompeo and I all voted for
legislation that he believes addressed the concerns he had with the
previous metadata collection program.
Then there is the detention and interrogation policies of the U.S.
Government post-9/11. It is time to turn the page on this chapter of
the CIA's history. We need to focus now on how to defeat the threats of
today and tomorrow, not relitigate the battles of yesterday.
But, to be clear, Senator Jeff Sessions, the President's choice for
Attorney General, has made clear that the enhanced interrogation
policies that were used with the approval of the Office of Legal
Counsel and the authorities during the Bush administration no longer
would be permissible because
the Army Field Manual is now the law of the land. Congressman Pompeo
voted for the legislation that made that change to Federal law, and he
has pledged to follow it. So I am not sure what more we can ask of a
Finally, later today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will
vote on the nomination of Rex Tillerson, President Trump's nominee to
serve as the next Secretary of State. I have known Mr. Tillerson for a
number of years now. Over time, I have come to admire and respect him
for many reasons. He has proven over a decades-long career in the top
echelons of a large, global company that he has what it takes to
represent not the shareholders that he has been representing but the
American people throughout the world in the most sensitive diplomatic
and international matters you can imagine. And, most of all, he has
proved time and again that he is a man of strong conviction and
I have confidence that Mr. Tillerson will help the United States
regain our leadership role in the world by unapologetically supporting
our allies and our friends while keeping a check on our adversaries. He
is, simply stated, the right man to lead our State Department, and I
hope that the committee supports his nomination and that the full
Senate votes to confirm him soon.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, before my friend, the Senator from Texas,
leaves, I am sure he understands that I am rising now in support of the
nomination of Congressman Mike Pompeo to be Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency. But before I speak on the nominee, I do want to
take a moment to address the criticism that has been leveled against my
colleagues who asked for time to debate the nomination.
As Members of the U.S. Senate, we are responsible to the American
people to make measured, thoughtful decisions. I will support this
nomination, but, again, I fully respect the right of my colleagues to
ask for time to debate the nomination on its merits. I know Senator
Wyden and others will be coming to the floor later today to address
To be clear at the outset, I do not agree with some of the views that
Congressman Pompeo has expressed, and our personal and political views
are wildly divergent. While Congressman Pompeo and I disagree on many
issues, I believe he can be an effective leader of the CIA.
In our private discussions, and in the open and closed hearings, he
has convinced me that he will follow the law banning torture. And let
me be clear. As the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I will
oppose any effort to change law or policy to once again torture
detainees, and I will keep a careful watch to ensure that no one ever
tries to do so again.
I have also received public and private assurances from Congressman
Pompeo that he will accurately represent the unvarnished views of the
analysts and folks who work for the CIA and that he will relay those
views no matter what the President or others want to hear.
One of the most important jobs of the Intelligence Committee is
speaking truth to power.
Congressman Pompeo has also given me assurances that he will support
those who work for the CIA and not discriminate against anyone based on
their personal views and, not in the least, that he will cooperate with
Congress, particularly as we look into Russia's efforts to interfere
with our election system.
I heard my friend, the Senator from Texas, call out the former
Director of National Intelligence, General Clapper, who has over 50
years in the intelligence business. And again, Mr. Clapper, along with
all the other leaders of the intelligence community, basically has said
that the Russian efforts to interfere in our elections in this past
year were unprecedented.
We all know that President Trump has said some unacceptable things
about the intelligence community, accusing them of leaks and of
politicizing intelligence. Those of us who serve on the Select
Committee on Intelligence--indeed, all of us in Congress, and I know I
see my friend, the chairman of the committee, is sitting here on the
floor--know that those attacks were unwarranted and should not be
Congressman Pompeo did not participate in those attacks. Instead,
throughout his tenure on the House Intelligence Committee, he showed
respect for the intelligence community and worked to help make them
His former colleagues and staff on the committee speak highly of him,
even when they disagree.
Since he was nominated for the position of Director, Mr. Pompeo has
spent a great deal of time at the CIA, working with the professionals
there to understand his new role and the challenges he will face. We
have had a number of conversations about that.
I have heard nothing that undermines my view that he will treat the
employees of the Agency with the decency and fairness they deserve. And
since most of those employees also happen to be my constituents, I will
watch his actions very carefully.
Under Congressman Pompeo, the CIA will face many challenges. For
example, the growth of open source information and big data will
supplement and challenge traditional collection means. The Agency has
the increasing need to operate in expeditionary and nontraditional
environments, which will drive a need for changes in personnel,
support, and training. The Agency will have and will need an
increasingly diverse workforce which grew up online, which will create
new opportunities but also new problems, for example, in establishing
and maintaining cover. And if he is confirmed as Director, Mr. Pompeo
will have to complete and sometimes tweak the reorganization begun by
his predecessor, John Brennan.
While Congressman Pompeo and I disagree on many issues--and I suspect
will disagree on many in the future--I support his nomination. I
believe he can be a good leader for the CIA and will cooperate with the
oversight of the SSCI and Congress.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina.
Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I rise today to support Mike Pompeo as the
next Director of the CIA. And I thank my good friend, the vice chairman
of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Warner, for his comments.
I will vary slightly from Senator Warner in that I think the
committee process provided every member of the committee a sufficient
amount of time and opportunity to ask and to have answered every
question that one can query a four-term Member of the U.S. Congress, a
member of the House Intelligence Committee. Representative Pompeo made
himself available to every member on the committee for a private
meeting in their office, to the best of my knowledge, with no time
Representative Pompeo came to an open hearing--which is unusual for
our committee, but we do that with nominees--with no time limit. He
made himself available to a closed committee hearing with no time
limits. He answered over 150 questions for the record. Every member of
the committee was given a tremendous opportunity to ask everything and
to have it sufficiently answered by the nominee.
Maybe we won't explain what went through the mind of my colleague
from Oregon to claim that he hadn't had sufficient time, that there
were more questions that needed to be asked, and he made the statement
in the light of day. Trust me, most all of the hearings we had and the
meetings the members had were in the light of day--it was before 5 p.m.
and after 8 a.m. in the morning.
In fact, there is a little game going on with Representative Pompeo,
and I think it is similar to what we are going to see with other
nominees. But let me tell you why this ought to be different. This
ought to be different because of what is at stake. The Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency should be somebody who is above reproach,
somebody who understands that integrity is everything--not just with
the Congress of the United States but with the employees of the CIA.
This is an agency that operates in the shadows. The President gave a
speech there on Saturday, and behind him as a backdrop were the stars
of individuals who have no names, who have sacrificed their lives
without recognition on behalf of the future of this
country and the security of the United States. So it is absolutely
crucial that we put somebody there who understands the value of the
individuals but more importantly, the value of what they do for the
security of America.
Representative Pompeo has been asked to lead what I believe is our
Nation's most treasured asset. It is an agency that works in the
shadows and requires a leader to be unwavering in integrity, who will
ensure that the organization operates lawfully, ethically, and morally.
Just look at Mike Pompeo's background. He went to West Point. He
graduated No. 1 in his class. He left West Point and went to Harvard,
where he became a lawyer, God bless him. He headed the Law Review at
Harvard. But he didn't pursue a legal career; he started an aerospace
business and became the CEO of an aerospace business. He has had
multiple successes in life, yet he ended up in public service. He ended
up in the House of Representatives.
When asked by the President on behalf of the security of the American
people to serve at the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo said:
Yes, sir, I will do it--only to come up here with a biography like I
have read, with the trust and the integrity needed to fill the slot.
For Members of Congress to question whether this is the right fit,
not because of the content of what he has accomplished but because they
wanted to claim they hadn't had enough time--if we don't change this--
and I say this in a bipartisan way--if we don't change this, good
people will not respond “yes” when asked. If we continue to berate
people who come here, because of things in their background that have
no real, rational reason for exploration as to whether they can
sufficiently do the job, then America stands a chance to lose the best
and the brightest, regardless of where they grew up, regardless of the
color of their skin, and regardless of their or their family's success.
I say that to my colleagues in the hope that we will back off before we
have done everlasting damage to our possibilities to get the right
Representative Pompeo has honorably and energetically represented the
people of the Fourth District in Kansas for three terms. He is on the
House Intelligence Committee. House or Senate, I can't think of a
Member of Congress who has traveled more around the world and spent
more time at the CIA understanding the ins and outs of what they do,
how they do it, and why it is important to the American people and to
the security of this country, than Mike Pompeo. He is well versed on
intelligence community operations, capabilities, and their authorities.
He understands the nature of the threat we face here at home and
Some are going to question whether, in fact, his personal views that
maybe there are events that will happen that will challenge Congress to
change the laws are important. That is fine for him or me or for the
President to question. The important thing is, How would he answer it
if you applied it today? And his answer: I would follow the law. I
wouldn't circumvent the law, I would follow the law, and the law says
this today. Short of Congress changing the law, I will follow the law
as it is today.
I am not sure you can have more clarity in an answer than that.
Mike Pompeo's intellectual rigor, honorable service, and outstanding
judgment make him a natural fit for the CIA. As I said earlier, he is
one of the most active, most engaged, and most charismatic individuals
I have seen nominated in quite a while.
I ask my colleagues to support the nomination of Mike Pompeo as next
Director of the CIA. Do it expeditiously. Treat him fairly. Don't paint
him as for something he is not. He is a colleague of ours who worked
hard to be here. He has a background of proof as to why the Fourth
District of Kansas made an incredibly wise decision, but more
importantly, Mike Pompeo is somebody who can contribute in a
significant way to the security of the American people, the security of
this country, and can, in fact, manage and lead at the CIA without
concerns as to whether there is the integrity of the institution,
without concerns as to whether he might step across the legal line of
what is appropriate, that every day he is there following the rule of
law in this country, someone whose primary focus is to make sure that
we as policymakers and the President as Commander in Chief have the
best intelligence possible to make decisions about America's future and
about America's security.
I hope it won't take 6 hours today, but we are in the first hour of
debate. I urge my colleagues to be brief but be thorough, but at the
end of the day, make sure that tomorrow morning the CIA has permanent
leadership and not acting leadership.
With that, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
(The remarks of Mr. CASSIDY and Ms. COLLINS pertaining to the
introduction of S. 191 are printed in today's Record under “Statements
on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.”)
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). The Senator from Vermont.
Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I understand the order was for the
distinguished senior Senator from Oregon to be recognized next.
Madam President, I see the distinguished Senator from Oregon on the
floor. I ask unanimous consent that I be recognized for 5 minutes and
then yield to the Senator from Oregon.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LEAHY. Tonight, the Senate will vote on the President's nominee
to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As I said on
Friday, I do not believe the Senate should rush to confirm such a
critical position, without the opportunity for debate or discussion. We
are having that debate today, and that is why on Friday, I supported a
motion to proceed to this nomination.
Our intelligence agencies have an enormous task ahead. The challenges
they face range from state-sponsored information warfare to countering
violent extremists around the world. Among those who will lead these
efforts will be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The importance of the CIA cannot be overstated. Now, perhaps more than
ever, we need a Director who will manage the Agency with the full
confidence of the American people.
This confidence is based not only on a future Director's ability to
comprehend security challenges, but on his or her ability to safeguard
the privacy and civil liberties of all Americans and to uphold and
advance United States leadership in protecting human rights.
I have serious concerns with President Trump's nominee to lead the
CIA. Congressman Pompeo has called for the re-establishment of the bulk
collection of Americans' phone records, and has even argued that the
intelligence community should combine that metadata “with publicly
available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive,
searchable database.” He went on to say that “[l]egal and
bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.”
But Congress outright rejected the bulk collection of Americans'
records when it passed the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 on an overwhelmingly
bipartisan basis--the very program that Congressman Pompeo said that he
wants to bring back.
During his testimony last week, Congressman Pompeo attempted to
diffuse this and other questions about his more alarming positions by
affirming his appreciation of the supremacy of law. It sounded to me,
like the tried and true confirmation conversion. I appreciate that he
testified that he understands the responsibility of a Director to
uphold the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress.
But I remain deeply concerned that he advocated for such dangerous
measures in the first place. And I am concerned that he will push to
remove “legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance”--just as
he said last year.
We face grave threats from around the world, whether from Russia,
from ISIS, or other adversaries. The Director of the CIA must be
trusted by all Americans to protect us from these threats, but also to
protect our nation's core values.
I don't question Congressman Pompeo's loyalty to our nation. I do
question his stated beliefs that immediate security concerns can be
used as a justification for eroding the fundamental rights of all
these reasons, I cannot support his nomination.
I thank the distinguished senior Senator from Oregon for letting me
take this time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, before he leaves the floor, I want to
thank Senator Leahy, particularly because, once again, on this issue he
showed there was a path forward that was bipartisan. The senior Senator
from Vermont got together with our colleague from Utah, Senator Lee,
and the two of them set out from the get-go to try to find common
I think most people didn't give us great odds. Senator Leahy and I
used to talk about how when we began the effort, being on the
Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee, a group of us could
probably have met in a phone booth, but then, under Senator Leahy's
leadership, we began to pick up colleagues from both sides of the
The Obama administration, which we both remember, had reservations at
the beginning. We said: Look, we can find a way. The intelligence
community said to go forward with this, but this didn't happen by
osmosis. It happened under the leadership of Senator Leahy and Senator
Lee, our colleague on the other side of the aisle. One of the reasons
we feel so strongly, as the Senator from Vermont has stated, is that if
we are not careful, particularly with this nomination, we could undo,
we could unravel a lot of that good bipartisan work.
I know my colleague has a tight schedule, and I so appreciate his
coming over and very much recognize that one of the reasons we are here
is to make sure we don't undo the good bipartisan work that he has
Madam President, today the Senate is doing something that doesn't
happen often around here--having an open debate about the future of the
Central Intelligence Agency. The Central Intelligence Agency, in my
view, is an enormously important and valuable part of our government.
It is staffed by thousands and thousands of patriotic Americans who
make extraordinary sacrifices on our behalf. They work so hard to
protect our country in so many ways Americans will never find out
about. They give up their time. They give up their weekends, family
vacations, and all kinds of things that would be scheduled that they
would enjoy personally, and they give it up on 1 or 2 hours' worth of
notice because they want to protect the security and the well-being of
our Nation. The fact is, many at the CIA have risked their lives
defending us and some have made the ultimate sacrifice with their
When you talk about the CIA on the Senate floor, it is especially
important to protect the people I have just mentioned and to protect
what are called their sources and methods. Sources and methods are the
secret means by which the CIA gets the information that is needed for
our national security, and it needs to stay classified. While sources
and methods need to stay classified, the debate about our laws and
those who execute them is a public matter. The policies that guide what
the CIA does in its important work--the debate about policies always
has to be public. The nomination of a CIA Director is a rare and
important chance to talk about what the nominee thinks those policies
ought to be.
In the beginning, I am going to offer my guiding principle. Smart
national security policies protect both our security and our liberty,
and they recognize that security and liberty are not mutually
exclusive; that it is possible to have both; that it is essential to
have both. Nothing illustrates the need for policies that promote
security and liberty more clearly than the issue of encryption, which
we will be talking about--in my view--at length in this Congress as
part of the intelligence debate.
Strong encryption protects Americans from foreign hackers, criminals,
identity thieves, stalkers, and other bad actors. It is the key to
protecting our cyber security. Yet there are some in government and
some in the Congress who think it would make sense to require American
companies to build backdoors into their products so the government can
get access to that information. My own view is this would be an
enormous mistake, a mistake from a security standpoint, a mistake from
a liberty standpoint, and also very damaging to our companies--
companies that produce jobs with good wages. I have been fighting
against ill-advised encryption proposals because they would be bad for
security for the reason I mentioned. It would be a big gift to foreign
hackers and bad for liberty. The reality is, if we require our
companies to build backdoors into their products, the first thing that
is going to happen is all the companies overseas, where they will not
have such rules, will benefit enormously. A lot of good-paying jobs--
high-skill, high-wage jobs--would be at risk. I bring this up only by
way of stressing how important it is that we get this right; that we
advance policies that promote security and liberty and we recognize
right at the get-go that they are not mutually exclusive.
With that in mind, we turn to the nomination of Congressman Mike
Pompeo to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After
consideration of his testimony and a review of his past statements--and
response to written questions--I have concluded that he is the wrong
man for the job. He has endorsed extreme policies that would
fundamentally erode the liberties and freedoms of our people without
making us safer. He has been unwilling to provide meaningful responses
to my questions with respect to these views. When he has provided
responses, they have often either been so vague or so contradictory
that it is impossible to determine what his core beliefs are or what he
might actually do if he is confirmed.
On issue after issue, the Congressman has taken two, three, or four
positions, depending on when he says it and whom he is talking to. He
has done this with surveillance, with torture, with Russia, and a
number of other subjects. So now we are at the end of the confirmation
process. There has been a hearing. I met with the nominee in private.
We submitted two sets of questions, both before and after the hearing.
Despite it all, it has been impossible to walk away with consistent
answers on the Congressman's beliefs on how he would lead the Central
Let me begin with surveillance. Just over a year ago, after the USA
FREEDOM Act had become law, Congressman Pompeo wrote in an op-ed that
Congress should pass a law reestablishing collection of all metadata.
This was a reference to the program in which the government collected
and kept the records of tens of millions of innocent Americans. When
the American people found out about this program, they were rightly
horrified and they rejected it, which was why--as we touched on this
afternoon on a bipartisan basis--Congress abolished the program through
the USA FREEDOM Act. That law got the government out of the business of
collecting these millions of phone records on law-abiding people, and
it did nothing to harm our security. For example, I am very proud that
I was able to work in a bipartisan way to author a provision that
allowed the government, in emergency circumstances, to get phone
records immediately and then go back later and seek court approval. I
wrote that provision to make sure that when the security of our great
Nation was on the line, it would be possible for our national security
officials to move immediately, without delay, to get the information
that was needed. Congressman Pompeo himself voted for the USA FREEDOM
Act before he turned around 8 months later and wrote that he wanted to
reestablish this sweeping and unnecessary program. So understand the
timeline. The Congressman talks about voting for the USA FREEDOM Act,
but after he cast that vote, he came out in a widely circulated article
in the Wall Street Journal for a proposal that really makes all the
earlier collection of phone records about law-abiding people look like
small potatoes. I am going to discuss that this afternoon.
The question really is, What does the Congressman believe? Does he
stand by his vote to abolish the NSA phone records dragnet? Was that
what he was suggesting when he brought up that vote during his hearing
or does he stand by what he wrote in his major opinion article that
came out well after the law he voted for? In response to questions, the
that he believes the collection of tens of millions of Americans' phone
records provided a significant tool for the intelligence community and
that “I have not changed my position.” That sounds like an
endorsement of the mass surveillance of phone records.
Again, in the hearing, the nominee said something else. Senator
Heinrich asked him whether he had been briefed on whether the current
process--where the government collects phone records on an individual
basis rather than in bulk from millions of Americans, even if they are
not suspected of a crime--protects our Nation as well as the liberty of
millions of innocent Americans. The Congressman is a member of the
House Intelligence Committee so he has had the opportunity to be
briefed on this topic, but here is his response to Senator Heinrich:
“Senator, I have not had a chance to have a complete briefing on that,
but I can say I have not heard anything that suggests that there is a
need for change today.” In other words, in just a matter of days,
Congressman Pompeo has taken the position, first, that the bulk
collection of American phone records was a significant tool and that it
should be reestablished, and, second, while testifying to the
committee, that he has no basis on which to believe that is necessary.
That is such a head scratcher, I just don't know how to go about
squaring these truly conflicting statements.
What troubles me especially is if the Congressman were to be
confirmed as CIA Director, the doors would close and he would operate
in secret. Yet Americans do not know which position he would take in
running the CIA. The American people have no idea how Congressman
Pompeo would advise the President and his national security team on
what is truly necessary to protect the Nation.
Phone records are not the only communication records we need to be
concerned about. Until a few years ago, the NSA also ran a program in
which millions of Americans' email records were collected. Since the
Congressman wrote that he wanted to reestablish collecting all of the
metadata, I asked him whether he would support the resumption of that
program as well and whether he believed that millions of Americans'
email records should be combined with millions of American phone
records. He could have said no. He could have clarified that he was
only talking about phone records. Instead, he ducked taking a position.
In fact, he even indicated that he would be open to including email
records in his new database. His exact words were: “If I am confirmed
and agency officials inform me that they believe the current programs
and legal framework are insufficient to protect the country, I would
make appropriate recommendations for any needed changes to laws and
What is especially troubling about this is that the bulk email
program was discontinued because it wasn't effective. I spent a lot of
time pressing intelligence officials to give us some evidence that you
had to go out and collect all of these email records from law-abiding
Americans. In the end, the Agency decided to look at it, and they came
to the same conclusion I did; that it wasn't needed. That is not a
judgment about whether the program violated Americans' privacy because
it definitely did that. The NSA determined that--in its words, not
mine--the program did not meet their “operational expectations.” This
is public information. All the details are available to the House
Intelligence Committee on which the Congressman sits. This should have
been an easy answer for the nominee, but he refused to rule out the
inclusion of millions of Americans' email records--records the NSA has
said it doesn't need--in what would be his idea of a massive new
The collection of phone and email records of millions of innocent
Americans is small potatoes compared to what the nominee wrote next.
His proposal was to combine all of the communications metadata, and
these are his words, with “publicly available financial and lifestyle
information into a comprehensive searchable data base.” This is far
bigger and more encompassing than any such data collection program that
the Bush-Cheney administration ever imagined.
I have been a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee since
before 9/11. I have been in a lot of debates about the appropriate
scope of government surveillance. I have never heard ever--not from
anyone--an idea so extreme, so overarching, and so intrusive on
Americans' privacy. I wanted to give the Congressman the opportunity to
explain what he was actually proposing. So during the confirmation
hearing--and later in what are questions that are submitted to him--I
tried to find out what his database would include and what, if
anything, it wouldn't include. I could not get substantive answers.
What we basically got was a big word salad with a liberal helping of
words that just kind of skirted the issue. My folks would call them
The Congressman did mention social media in his answers. But it is
one thing for the government to read the social media postings of
Americans because there is a specific reason to do so; it is something
else entirely to create a giant government database of everyone's
social media postings and to match that up with everyone's phone
records. We asked where the nominee would draw the line. He wouldn't
Congressman Pompeo's vision of this vast government database doesn't
stop, by the way, with social media. What he wrote in his responses to
my questions was that he was “generally” referring to publicly
available information on the Internet or other “public databases.” I
will repeat that. He was generally talking about information already in
the public domain. That raised the question of what else the nominee
wanted to enter into a giant government database of information on
millions of innocent Americans. For example, did he have in mind
information on Americans that the government could obtain or purchase
from third parties, such as data brokers who collect information on the
purchasing history of our people? Imagine putting every American's
purchases into a government database, along with their social media
postings and all of their phone records.
After two rounds of submitted questions and a hearing, it was not
clear what the Congressman meant when he referred to “all metadata”
or how he defined “publicly available financial and lifestyle
information.” What we do know for sure is that he wouldn't give us any
real sense of what he wanted to do with this proposal. He was unwilling
to talk about it.
The responses I got from the Congressman on this and other topics
generally fell into three categories. The first was, I will do what is
legal. The second one was, when it comes to Americans' privacy, that is
the FBI's problem, not the CIA's. And third, as CIA Director, I won't
do policy. I am going to briefly state why these are unacceptable
First, I asked the Congressman if there were any boundaries to his
proposed new, vast database on Americans. His response was, “Of course
there are boundaries; any collection and retention must be conducted in
accordance with the Constitution, statutes, and applicable presidential
directives.” That is not a response. Just because the government may
be able to legally obtain information on Americans on an individualized
or limited basis doesn't necessarily make it legal, much less
appropriate, to create this vast database with all kinds of information
on law-abiding Americans. If you take his response to mean that the
only boundaries are those established by law, then it is worth
considering how the intelligence community has frequently interpreted
the legal limits in which it operates: flexibly and in secret.
Even if we imagine that there are established legal boundaries that
would rein in the Congressman's CIA, consider what he himself has said
about those legal boundaries. He wrote in his op-ed--and these are his
words, not mine--that “legal and bureaucratic impediments to
surveillance should be removed.” It is also significant that
throughout his response to questions, he refers to CIA policies,
procedures, and regulations. As CIA Director, he would be in a position
to change those.
It seems to me that the Congressman can't have it both ways--he can't
say he is bound only by legal restrictions and avoid saying what he
thinks those restrictions should be.
The nominee's second way to avoid answering these questions was by
arguing that concerns about the privacy of
Americans are the business of the FBI, not the CIA. That is just not
the case. There is a long and unfortunate history related to the CIA
and domestic intelligence, which the Church Committee documented in the
1970s. I will be clear--I don't believe the CIA is up to anything like
this today, but the possibility of returning to those days is certainly
a possibility if the Director of the CIA takes the flexible approach to
the rules that are intended to keep the CIA out of the lives of
American citizens. I will give just a few examples.
On January 3, the Director of National Intelligence put out new
procedures about the distribution within the intelligence community of
what is called raw signals intelligence. These are the actual content
of communications, as opposed to an analyst's report about these
communications. According to the new procedures, these communications
can be provided to the CIA if the CIA Director asks for them and
explains to the NSA why the CIA needs them.
Here is why this matters to the privacy of Americans: When raw
communications are distributed to the CIA, they include the
communications of Americans that have been sucked up in the overall
collection. So at this point, the CIA would have these communications.
According to the new procedures, in some instances the Director of the
CIA can approve CIA searches of that data for the communications of
Americans. The Director of the CIA can also approve the use of
Americans' communications. The question is, How would the Congressman
exercise these authorities? We just don't know.
Another example would be the CIA's own procedures for dealing with
information on Americans. Last week, the CIA updated these procedures
in a 41-page public document. They covered, for example, the CIA's
collection of vast amounts of information that includes the
communications of or information about Americans--what can be collected
by the CIA, what can be kept by the CIA, what can be distributed by the
CIA. The new procedures also cover when CIA officers are required and
when they are not required to identify themselves when participating in
organizations in our country.
Just reading these procedures makes it clear that the CIA's
activities bump up against the liberties of Americans all the time.
That is why the regulations exist. But if a CIA Director has extreme
views with regard to the liberties and freedoms of our people, that
could very well be reflected in how the Agency implements these
procedures or whether they get rewritten. How would the Congressman
apply these rules? Would he propose new ones to make it easier for the
CIA to look at more information about Americans? Again, we just don't
One thing is clear: The views of the CIA Director about the liberties
and freedoms of Americans are just as relevant as those of the FBI
The nominee's third effort to avoid discussing his position was to
say that as the CIA Director, he wouldn't be responsible for policy. As
he asserted in his opening statement at the hearing, he would “change
roles from policymaker to information provider.” But anyone who is
familiar with the role of the CIA Director knows that is just not what
happens at the Agency.
First, the CIA Director does far more than deliver analysis to
government officials. Collection priorities, methods of collection,
relationships with foreign services, covert action, and many other
responsibilities of the office are policy matters.
In addition, the CIA Director and other leaders of the intelligence
community are asked repeatedly what they think is necessary and
appropriate to keep our Nation safe. At a moment of crisis, these
questions are especially pressing. We now know what happens in those
moments when leaders give wrong answers. After September 11, the
Directors of the NSA and the CIA offered their views of what should be
done. We all thought they had time stamps on them because we came back
to look at them after the immediate crisis was over, but our country
ended up for a fair amount of time with programs that ripped at the
very fabric of our democracy. There were warrantless wiretappings and
The Director of the CIA is a unique position. When someone is
nominated to lead a department that operates more or less openly, at
least the public can assess his or her performance, and at least a
fully-informed Congress can respond when he or she implements
wrongheaded policies. But the CIA Director operates in secret. What the
public finds out is entirely up to the CIA and the administration.
When it comes to deciding whether this is the right person for the
job, there is nothing for the public and most of the Congress to go on
other than what the nominee has said and done before and during the
confirmation process. Unless this is going to be a rare exception and
the Congressman would be a historically transparent CIA Director--and
there aren't any indications of that--then what we are talking about in
this confirmation debate today and why I thought it was important to
have a real debate today is that what we are talking about in terms of
much of the future of the CIA and the person who heads it--this is a
one-time shot for that discussion. That is why I don't consider the
vetting process to be finished.
(Mr. MORAN assumed the Chair.)
On the topic of the proposed massive new database and on a range of
other topics both classified and unclassified, the Congressman did not
provide substantive responses, so I have resubmitted my questions to
Now, some--I heard this mentioned today--have said the Congressman
answered every question. They claim that somehow we are stalling, that
stalling is taking place for political reasons, so I want to be very
specific about what I mean when I say the Senate has not gotten
The facts show that the nominee has gone to great lengths to dodge,
evade, and in effect tiptoe around a significant number of the
questions that were put to him. We held our hearing on January 12. I
asked the Congressman about what information that he would put in his
comprehensive, searchable database. I didn't get a meaningful response,
so I said at the hearing that I would like the nominee to furnish in
writing what limits, what safeguards, what railings would exist with
regard to this massive new database, far more encompassing than the one
the Congress voted to sideline.
The next day, I sent over specific questions. I asked him in writing,
as I had at the hearing: What are the boundaries for collection on
Americans who aren't connected to a specific investigation? This is
fundamental. What are the boundaries on collecting information on
Americans who aren't connected to a specific investigation? It is
particularly relevant since the nominee proposed this vast and sweeping
I wanted to know, and I believe the American people would like to
know because, as I said at the beginning, I think the public wants
security and liberty. That is what I am committed to doing. That is
what we did in the debate about the FREEDOM Act, where we stopped
collecting all of these phone records of law-abiding people, but I
wrote the provision that increased government's authority in emergency
People want to know: Are there any kind of limits and safeguards,
particularly if you are proposing something brandnew, a centralized
database, after the Congress voted to curtail something much more
The Congressman responded by saying that publicly available
information can be useful in stopping terrorist attacks and that
publicly available information involves fewer privacy concerns compared
I agree on both counts. Nobody, no sensible person would dispute
The question which remains unanswered is whether publicly available
information on every American should be gathered up into what the
Congressman describes as a “comprehensive, searchable database.”
Since I had trouble getting an answer at that point, I also sent a
written question about whether--if information on an American is
legally available to the government on an individualized or limited
basis, does that make it legal or appropriate to compile it into a
bulk, giant database?
The Congressman testified that the boundaries of his database of
“publicly available financial and lifestyle information” were legal.
That raised the question: Is this whole database, this huge, new
database legal or not?
He responded: “I have not consulted legal experts.”
That is it. That was his answer.
So, again, when you have this sweeping new proposal, far more
encompassing than anything I have heard people talk about, the
Congressman, when asked whether the database was even legal, said that
he had not consulted legal experts.
Here is another question I submitted. I asked if his comprehensive
database should include information from third parties, such as data
brokers. And I think the distinguished Presiding Officer, who has a
great interest in these issues in the private sector, knows about the
possibilities of abuses with data brokers. I wanted to know whether
this database was going to include this kind of information.
Here is the Congressman's response in full: “I have not studied what
information is available from third parties and the applicable legal
restrictions on obtaining such information.”
That is it. Nothing more. He could have said, for example, that he
wasn't contemplating including information from data brokers in this
database. He could have elaborated on what he actually meant. He didn't
do either. It was just more stonewalling.
Now, I want to make it clear. The question that I have asked--and I
heard a comment about why would we be taking this time. The questions
were prompted because of the Congressman's own words. He is the one who
proposed a vast database on innocent Americans. He is the one who will
not articulate the boundaries of what is a very extreme proposal. These
are basic questions that are directly relevant to this nomination. They
are questions that Americans need answered, and they go right to the
heart of how, in the future, we will have smart national security
policies that protect both our security and our liberty.
The American people thought after the USA FREEDOM Act was passed--
this was before, as I mentioned, the Congressman's new idea, something
vastly more involved. The public thought when the FREEDOM Act was
passed that the government was out of the business of collecting
millions and millions of phone records on law-abiding Americans. Now we
are talking about a nominee to be CIA Director who not only wants to
bring this back but proposes something that makes the collection of
millions of phone records on law-abiding people look like nothing.
That is why I wanted this debate. That is why I wanted us to have a
chance to talk about it in the light of day, rather than late Friday
night in the middle of inauguration parties. I wanted the public to
understand what the issues were and these questions I had about the
Congressman's own words. That is what this debate is about: What is the
Congressman really talking about with his own words?
When I receive meaningful answers to these and other questions, I
will consider the confirmation process complete. Until then, I don't
believe our work in reviewing the nominee and his views is done. That,
in my view, is the only way to pin down a nominee who has taken
multiple positions with regard to some of the most important issues.
By the way, I think it is worth noting, with respect to trying to get
some guardrails and protections into the most sweeping new surveillance
program I have ever heard of, that the Congressman said in his
testimony to the committee: “I take a back seat to no one with respect
to protecting Americans' privacy.”
Now I want to turn to several other issues. I tried to get answers
from the Congressman about the outsourcing of surveillance against
Americans. During the campaign, the President invited the Russian
Government to continue hacking operations against his political
opponent. The President also said, with regard to Russian hacking, that
he would “love to have that power.” That is his quote, not mine.
So the question I wanted answered is: What would happen if the
Russians, or some other foreign entity, collected the communications of
Americans and, instead of giving them to WikiLeaks, provided them
directly to our government? This could be information about our
political leaders, journalists, religious leaders, business people,
typical innocent Americans.
At the hearing, the Congressman testified that it is not lawful to
outsource collection that the Agency isn't authorized to conduct
itself. That sounds like a reassuring statement to me. The problem is,
we are in a world in which the President of the United States has
already openly encouraged a foreign adversary to use its hacking
capabilities to attack our democracy.
What if a foreign adversary does it again and provides the fruits of
that hacking to the government without waiting for a specific
invitation from the CIA? What happens then?
In response to questions, the nominee wrote that only in “very
limited circumstances” would the collection of Americans'
communications be so improper that it would be inappropriate for the
CIA to receive, use, or disseminate them.
So I asked what those circumstances would be. The response was that
it was “highly fact-specific.”
The vagueness here also is very troubling, so I tried to follow up.
What if the information came from an adversary, rather than an ally?
Did it matter what the intent of the foreign partner was--to support
our national security or further disrupt our democracy? Did it matter
if the information was about Americans engaged in First Amendment-
protected activities, rather than about terror suspects? What if the
information provided to the government involved thousands or millions
of U.S. persons? I received no substantive answer other than all of
these issues were “relevant.”
Other members of the committee and I asked other questions relating
to the collection and use of information on law-abiding Americans.
First, I asked the Congressman about section 702 of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act, specifically about the government's
backdoor searches of data for information on Americans.
He responded that the CIA can conduct these warrantless searches if
they are “reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence
information.” This is certainly potentially troublesome and is an
issue that the Senate is going to need to take up when considering the
reauthorization of that part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Perhaps more concerning, however, was the Congressman's statement
that when we are talking about collection outside of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act, the rules of what the CIA can access,
query, use, and retain should be even more broad and more flexible. And
I will just say, I don't know how you get much broader and more
flexible than the standard that currently applies to section 702.
Then I asked the Congressman about encryption, and, frankly, I did
because I had gotten the sense that maybe he held moderate positions,
and, as I said earlier, I am very troubled about the possibility that
American companies would be required to build back doors into their
products and that strong encryption would be weakened. I think this is
a massive gift to foreign hackers. I think it is a huge gift, by the
way, to pedophiles because if you weaken strong encryption, you weaken
that feature that parents use to make sure they are watching their
child and their child is safe.
I think it is very important not to weaken strong encryption from a
security standpoint, from a liberty standpoint. And I think it is just
flatout nuts to do it to our companies because our companies wouldn't
be able to compete with the companies overseas that would continue to
rely on strong encryption to be able to assure that their customers'
data was protected.
So I had kind of gotten the thought that the Congressman had moderate
positions. I asked him about that. And all he would say was that it was
a complicated issue, and he said that he might begin to form some
This is an issue that has been discussed extensively in the Congress.
It has been discussed in this body. It has been discussed in the other
body. There are Members of both the Senate and the House, high-ranking
senior Members, who have a difference of opinion with me on encryption.
They want to weaken strong encryption. They think this is what the
government needs to get this data. I think that is a flawed view, but
people can have differences of opinion. That is why we have our unique
system of government; we have
real debates, unlike what goes on in most of the world.
But here is a topic that has been discussed extensively in Congress.
And it was my hope that the nominee would at least have some sort of
judgment about this issue and could express that to the American people
prior to a confirmation vote.
Instead, what I got was: It is complicated. I think everybody
Now I would like to turn to the question of torture. I simply have
not been reassured by the shifting statements about torture that the
nominee has given, so I would like to walk through this.
I happen to share the views of our very, very widely respected and
acclaimed senior Senator from Arizona that it is just not effective,
and he makes the case more eloquently than I. But that is not what is
at issue here specifically. It is about trying to sort out the
nominee's shifting statements about torture.
As late as 2014, he cited ending the CIA's torture program as
purported evidence that President Obama had refused to take
counterterrorism seriously. That is a pretty extreme view. By then,
even Members of Congress who had previously supported the program
believed it was best left in the past, but not our nominee to head the
Now we come to this hearing when he emphasizes commitment to the 2015
law that limits interrogation techniques to those authorized by the
Army Field Manual. That sounds pretty good, but a review of his
responses to the committee's questions revealed more troubling views.
For example, he was asked about his statements in 2014 and whether he
believed the CIA's interrogation program should be resumed. He
responded that he would have consultations about whether there should
be “changes to current interrogation or detention programs involving
CIA.” Understand the implications of that. He was asked: Should this
interrogation program be resumed? And he was going to have
consultations about whether there ought to be changes in it.
With respect to the Army Field Manual, he wrote that these
consultations, including “with experts at the Agency” on “whether
the Army Field Manual uniform application is an impediment to gathering
vital intelligence to protect the country or whether any rewrite of the
Army Field Manual is needed,” certainly suggest again that there are
open questions with respect to the field manual and torture. The fact
is that the Army Field Manual could be improved to further clarify, in
my view, that the U.S. Government should rely on noncoercive techniques
that are the most effective. The statute states clearly that revisions
to the Army Field Manual cannot “involve the use of threat or force.”
But given the Congressman's statements in support of torture, it is not
clear that is what he has on his mind. Consistently, on this issue,
there is a difference between what he says and the fine print when he
is required to state his views about interrogation in writing.
Moreover, the nominee is not just talking about changes in the Army
Field Manual, he is expressing openness to ditching the whole thing, at
least as far as the CIA is concerned.
The fundamental premise of the McCain-Feinstein legislation in 2015
was that the Army Field Manual would apply uniformly across the U.S.
Government, including the Department of Defense and the CIA. So while
he may have testified that McCain-Feinstein is the law, he plans on
questioning whether the whole thing ought to be tossed out.
Who are the experts at the Agency he wants to ask? There are
certainly CIA officers who understand the importance of uniform
standards and recognize the effectiveness of noncoercive interrogation
techniques. But if he is talking about going back to individuals
associated with the CIA's torture program, everybody ought to be very
apprehensive about what he is going to hear.
In other words, reading the nominee's response to written questions
is very different than listening to his testimony. His written
responses indicate both an openness to resuming the CIA's interrogation
program and questions about whether the Army Field Manual should apply
to the CIA.
I come back to that point. The nominee is a very skilled lawyer, and
he has been involved in intelligence for quite some time, but I have
been concerned that he has consistently said things that are different
than his written responses with respect to this issue. Part of what
concerns me about all this hedging is that the Congressman doesn't seem
familiar with the broad consensus that torture, in addition to being
contrary to our values, does not work. This is what was documented
extensively in the Intelligence Committee's torture report--not just
the 500-page summary but the 6,700-page full report. But there is a
growing body of additional evidence.
For example, the role of interrogating high-level terrorist suspects
in present years has been given to the High-value Detainee
Interrogation Group, which does not torture. The Congressman was asked
whether he believed this program was effective, a topic with which he
should be familiar as a member of the committee. He said he hadn't
studied the question. He was asked about their report last year that
detailed how noncoercive interrogation techniques are more effective.
He refused to give an opinion on this as well.
All of this is problematic because, as in the case of surveillance,
the Congressman has not considered whether we can do without highly
problematic programs at no cost to our security. Just as we have
security and liberty, we can have smart security policies that maintain
our national values.
His troubling views on torture were most apparent in the inflammatory
statements made in December 2014, when the Intelligence Committee
released the torture report. The nominee referred to criticism of the
CIA torture program as a “liberal game,” as if this view hadn't also
been expressed by some of the most conservative Members of Congress and
dozens of retired U.S. generals and admirals.
Many Senators from both parties supported the release of that report.
In my view, his statement was a direct attack on the patriotism of
people who had a different view. The nominee said that the release of
the report “will ultimately cause Americans to be killed.” The
torture report was not some leak. The CIA engaged in what is called
redaction, where they take out provisions that could put Americans at
risk. They took out names, pseudonyms, and, in some cases, titles.
I asked the Congressman whether he thought the Agency had failed to
protect Americans. He said he hadn't looked into it. In other words, he
just asserted that the release of the report would cause Americans to
be killed without having considered whether the CIA had adequately
protected against that. When an intelligence program such as the CIA's
torture program raises so many questions about our laws, our policies,
and our fundamental values, the American people deserve to know about
it. When the President of the United States has repeatedly advocated
for torture, it is especially critical that it be a public debate based
If that can be done while protecting sources and methods, openness is
an imperative. That is why the Congressman's statements about the
release of the torture report are still so relevant. In my view, they
call into question his commitment to the principles of transparency and
accountability when our country needs both.
Finally, his responses to a number of other questions I proposed
raised additional concerns about the lack of transparency. I asked him
if he would commit to correct inaccurate public statements. He said
that wouldn't always be possible, and it would be his “bias” to
correct his own inaccurate statements.
I don't think that is good enough. As we saw in the case of the
public testimony by the Director of National Intelligence about
surveillance, when the American people learn that intelligence
officials have not been straight with them, it fundamentally erodes the
trust between the public and the government, and that is not good for
I also asked the Congressman whether, if a U.S. Ambassador tells the
CIA to cease activities in his or her country, the Agency is obligated
to comply. Despite a clear statute that establishes this authority, the
nominee refused to
answer. In my view, this raises questions about whether the CIA is
going to retain secret interpretations of the law. Without taking a lot
of time, sources and methods have to be classified in secret, but the
law ought to be public. Going back to secret laws, we saw that the
phone records program would be a big mistake.
I will wrap up by mentioning the Congressman's shifting views on the
intelligence community's assessment with regard to Russia and the U.S.
On January 3 he submitted responses to prehearing questions. At the
time, then President-Elect Trump was still dismissing the intelligence
community's assessment, including the October 7 statement from the
Director of National Intelligence and Homeland Security that the
Russian Government had interfered in our election. The nominee is a
member of the House Intelligence Committee. So he had every opportunity
to judge the assessment for himself. But when he was asked about the
intelligence community's assessment by the committee, all he would say
is that it was a “serious assessment of attribution and charge against
another country” and that it “should be taken seriously.” That is
it. He didn't say whether he agreed with the Director of National
Intelligence or Homeland Security. In fact, he even defended the
President-elect's dismissal of the intelligence community's assessment,
saying that the “context” for the President-elect's statements was
political criticism of him and the election. Whatever politics are
going on have nothing to do with whether the intelligence community's
assessments about Russia made by the Director of National Intelligence
and made by the head of Homeland Security were or weren't accurate.
But then everything changed. On January 11, the President-elect said:
“As far as [the] hacking, I think it was Russia.” The next day at our
hearing, the nominee changed. He said the analysis was sound, but that
was a position he could have taken before, when the President-elect
didn't yet want to hear it.
We are headed into dangerous times. We need a CIA Director who is
direct about his beliefs and his assessments. The Congressman's
evolution on whether he agreed with the intelligence community's
assessment on Russia and our election is just one of the problematic
aspects of this nomination. Time and again, the nominee has taken
multiple positions on the same issue, which is why I have given him a
number of opportunities to explain where he stands.
But as I have explained this evening, that has been impossible. I
haven't gotten adequate responses. I resubmitted them. I also note that
I sent him classified questions as well. They were also unresponsive.
Frankly, I don't consider this nomination to have been fully vetted,
but we are going to vote. What I have heard leads me to conclude that
the Congressman should not be confirmed. He has held extreme views on
surveillance, torture, and other issues. His positions on surveillance
have failed to recognize that it is possible to have security and
liberty. I see virtually no commitment toward real transparency. His
views on the most fundamental analysis issue of the day--the
involvement of Russia in our election--seemed to shift with those of
the President. His changing positions on all these matters suggest
that, at this rare moment when the American people actually have an
opportunity to know who it is we are entrusting with some of the most
important, weighty, and secret positions in government, they are going
to be denied that chance.
That is why I oppose this nomination. I urge my colleagues to do so
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.
Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, today I urge all Senators to confirm Mike
Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mike is a
distinguished Congressman, a successful businessman, an Army veteran,
and he is my friend.
I served with Mike for 2 years in the House of Representatives. Over
the last 2 years, we both served on our respective intelligence
committees. I cannot count the hours we have spent together reviewing
analytic products, assessing the needs of the intelligence community,
conducting oversight of that community, and we have traveled the world
together to do those things. From personal experience, I can tell you
this is a man who understands exactly what it takes to keep America
He understands it because he has dedicated his life to it. When he
was 19, Mike decided to join the Army, writing a blank check to his
country for any amount, up to his life. He graduated first in his class
at West Point and afterward joined the 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry,
patrolling the Iron Curtain in Germany.
For some people--including not a few in this Chamber--the Cold War is
little more than ancient history and mostly the unfortunate result of
American provocation and misunderstanding, but for Mike Pompeo, it was
real life. He saw for himself the tank divisions, the gunships, and the
eastern frontier of freedom. He knows, from personal experience, that
conflict is rarely just a big misunderstanding, something you can clear
up with reset buttons, open hands, and nice gestures. Our enemies have
made a deliberate choice to oppose our way of life, and if we are to
protect it, we must be equally deliberate, clear-eyed, and hard-nosed
in our defense.
I have every confidence that Mike Pompeo will do that. He has
succeeded in everything he has ever done. After his military service,
he excelled at Harvard Law School. Later, he started his own company
and went on to serve as president of another. He is a community leader
in his adopted home of Wichita, where Kansans have elected him in
repeated landslides to serve them in the House of Representatives. In
the House, Mike is a sober, respected voice.
In short, Mike has spent his entire life preparing for a moment like
this. It is clear why President Trump didn't interview anyone else for
the job after meeting Mike.
It is a big job, and the CIA will benefit from new blood and fresh
leadership. Mike is ready for the job. As he said himself, he doesn't
take a backseat to anyone when it comes to protecting our security and
our privacy. Some politicians may say things like that, but it is all
talk. It is nothing but talk. With Mike, it is the real deal.
Don't take my word for it. Here is what prominent Democrats are
saying about Mike Pompeo. Leon Panetta, a respected public servant and
former CIA Director himself, says Mike Pompeo “is somebody who
understands the intelligence agencies, is smart, and somebody I think
will be a good director.”
John Brennan, who just departed as CIA Director, says he “looks
forward to being able to hand this baton over to somebody who is as
dedicated an American as Mike Pompeo.”
Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee,
says Mike Pompeo “is bright and hard-working” and “he is willing to
listen and engage, both key qualities in a CIA director.”
I couldn't agree more. It seems, among the people who actually know
Mike Pompeo--and who actually know the job--there are no last-minute
political stunts or petty delaying tactics. They understand
intelligence is deadly serious business and ought not be treated like a
political football. In a world as dangerous as ours, with threats
gathering every day, there is no more time for dithering. We need a CIA
Director of the highest caliber, and Mike Pompeo is the man for the
I commend President Trump for this inspired nomination, I thank Mike
for once again answering the call of duty, and I also thank his wife
Susan for her love and steadfast support of Mike in the trying times
and sacrifices that inevitably will lie ahead.
The time has come to put aside partisan politics and do the right
thing for our country and the brave men and women of the CIA. I call on
every Senator to vote for confirmation and to send to the CIA a strong
leader, a wise counselor, and a fierce patriot.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks recognition?
The Senator from California.
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from
Kansas for giving me the opportunity to make some remarks for the
I support Mike Pompeo to be Director of the CIA. I want to make clear
that Congressman Pompeo has committed to following the law with respect
to torture. He committed, during his open hearing, to a question I
asked, to refuse any orders to restart the CIA's use of enhanced
interrogation techniques that fall outside of the Army Field Manual.
However, what has happened is that his written answers to my
questions for the record on torture appear to leave open the
possibility that he would be open to the CIA carrying out these
practices again in the future. I have had an opportunity to discuss
this with Congressman Pompeo, and I asked him today to give me some
statements from him that I could put directly into the record in that
regard, and I wish to share these responses. I received them today,
prepared by his staff.
Let me quote. “By law, any agency interrogations will be limited to
techniques in the Army Field Manual.”
“The Army Field Manual explicitly prohibits waterboarding and other
He further recommitted to the promise he made at his hearing that he
“would `absolutely not' comply with an order that violates the law,
including an order to restart a program with techniques that violated
the limitations in the Army Field Manual.”
Additionally, he clarified his comments regarding which experts he
intends to consult at the CIA and other organizations in the government
regarding the Army Field Manual. This is where there was particularly--
I think in the Daily Beast, this question was raised, as well as in
other places, so I want to clear it up. Here is his statement: He
“would listen to any items raised by the High-Value detainee
Interrogation Group”--which we call the HIG--“or other career
intelligence professionals that any improvements were needed to the
Army Field Manual based on their professional experience.”
Moreover, he promised to provide objective analysis of Iran's
compliance with the nuclear agreement and insisted that he would keep
the Senate informed of all CIA activities in that regard.
Additionally, he has promised to put aside his previous political
considerations, and he has committed to providing the President and the
Congress with independent, objective intelligence analysis.
Certainly, I, and certainly others, intend to hold him to these
commitments. For these reasons, I am clearly voting for his
confirmation and look forward to working closely with him on the Senate
Intelligence Committee to make sure strong congressional oversight of
the CIA continues.
I thank the Chair.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I believe that to continue to delay
confirmation of Congressman Mike Pompeo to serve as Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency would be a real disservice to the Nation
and to the security of the American people.
It was 2 weeks ago that I had the honor and privilege of introducing
my colleague from Kansas during his confirmation hearing before the
Senate Intelligence Committee--a committee I once had the privilege of
chairing. More than enough time has passed for all Senators to really
acquaint themselves with the pertinent qualifications of the
As a long-serving Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike
has the merits for the job. He has the experience, he has the
knowledge, the judgment, and the skills necessary to lead the Central
Intelligence Agency. Mike is Army strong. He graduated at the top of
his class at West Point and then served as a cavalry officer patrolling
the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
After completing his military service, Mike attended Harvard Law
School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Because he is
an attorney, Mike understands the law, as emphasized by my
distinguished colleague from California, a long-serving member of the
Intelligence Committee, Senator Feinstein.
Aside from the many questions posed to Congressman Pompeo, this is
the salient point. He will respect the limitations we have placed upon
our intelligence services, and he will preserve our constitutional
After practicing law, Mike returned to his mother's roots in South
Central Kansas, running several very successful businesses in Wichita
before making the decision to run for Congress in 2010.
Mike came to Washington with a strong desire to serve the people of
the Fourth District. Ready for a challenge, he sought a seat on the
House Intelligence Committee at a time when intelligence-gathering
methods were under fire.
Again, a salient point, as an experienced legislator, Mike Pompeo
understands and respects the role of Congress and the need for vigorous
oversight, again demonstrated by the remarks of the distinguished
Senator from California, Mrs. Feinstein.
I know he will provide the House and Senate Intelligence Committees
with candid and honest assessments and provide the information the
committee needs necessary to fulfill their oversight responsibilities.
I know he will also demand that of everyone who serves at the CIA. In
so doing, I know--and he knows--the difference between intelligence
reporting and an intelligence product with salient input from all
within the intelligence community, thus making sure our intel community
does not become mired in assessment failure or any political
controversy. We have certainly seen enough of that.
There are few positions in government of greater importance than that
of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. At a time when
democracy and freedom are under assault by radical elements fueled by
hatred, our intelligence-gathering services must have a strong leader
who will guide their mission and ensure the safety of the American
people and not be swayed by any political interference.
We must demonstrate the respect we have--all of us in this Chamber
have--for the men and women of the intelligence community by giving
them a leader that will have their backs while, at the same time, will
demand excellence of each and every one of them. Mike Pompeo will be
that kind of leader. I strongly urge every one of my colleagues to
support his nomination. We have had ample time for debate. Now it is
time to confirm.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
Mr. UDALL. Mr. President, I rise to oppose the confirmation of
Congressman Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
I respect Congressman Pompeo's background and service to our Nation.
However, I strongly believe that his positions on at least three key
issues undermine his qualifications to lead the Central Intelligence
First, he has supported broad surveillance programs that allow the
government to spy on the American people--programs that were far-
reaching, invasive, and violated law-abiding citizens' constitutional
rights to privacy.
These programs were hastily passed as a part of the PATRIOT Act in
the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I was one of only 66 Members in
the House of Representatives to vote against the PATRIOT Act.
Since then, we have learned through reviews by the Privacy and Civil
Liberties Oversight Board, as well as the unauthorized disclosure of
programs by Edward Snowden, that these programs did go too far. There
is no doubt about it. They did go too far.
The government collected massive amounts of personal cell phone
information, with no probable or reasonable cause to justify the
collection, and the PATRIOT Act was used to obtain hotel records, car
rental records, apartment leasing records, credit card records, and
other personal information. While the government collected personal
information from innocent Americans, there is no credible evidence that
it made us more secure.
The majority of the American people opposed the surveillance program.
They understood it went too far and violated our basic American right
to privacy. So Congress responded and passed the USA FREEDOM Act--
bipartisan legislation to rein in the surveillance programs.
Congressman Pompeo was skeptical of the USA FREEDOM Act, and he
introduced his own bill to resume and expand the spying programs.
I believe in strong national security, and I have consistently
military and our National Labs to ensure that we have the strongest and
most effective defense in the world. However, in the United States of
America, we protect national security and our constitutional
rights. The United States is not a police State. The U.S. Constitution
protects us from overreaching invasions of our privacy. Congress struck
an appropriate balance in the USA FREEDOM Act between security and
civil liberties. I hope the new administration will not try to return
to mass surveillance programs that don't work, aren't supported by the
American people, and invade our civil liberties.
Second, Congressman Pompeo's views on torture are deeply concerning.
He has stated that the so-called enhanced interrogation programs used
by the CIA in the Bush administration “were within the law” and
“within the Constitution.” That is his quote, “were within the law”
and “within the Constitution.” They were not. They violated Federal
law prohibiting torture, and they violated the U.N. Convention on
Torture and the Geneva Conventions--treaties the United States signed
and that became Federal law. Programs of torture were a stain on our
Nation's history and contrary to our value as Americans.
Beyond the legality of these programs, any CIA Director must
understand that the use of torture is ineffective. It yields bad
intelligence, which makes it harder for our analysts to do their jobs.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,000-page classified report,
issued in December 2014, concludes: “The CIA's use of its enhanced
interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring
intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” This finding is
from the publicly available executive summary from the report.
On key national security issues, like the use of torture, the new
administration's top appointees must speak with one voice. Secretary of
Defense Mattis has disavowed the use of torture. His many years of
experience, training, and leading troops have taught him that torture
does not work. Americans go to war--and risk and sacrifice their
lives--to preserve our deeply held values. We cannot be engaged in
conduct antithetical to those values at the same time. We must lead by
Finally, if America uses torture, we have no moral authority to stop
foreign countries or terrorists from torturing Americans. We can never
give implicit license to others to brutalize our soldiers. President
Obama banned the use of torture in 2009. Again, I hope we will not be
forced into debate about whether to return to the use of inhumane
interrogation techniques that don't work and that undermine what we
stand for as a nation.
Third, Congressman Pompeo has expressed that the Guantanamo Bay
detention center should remain open, and he has said he believes
detainees can be imprisoned indefinitely. The continued use of
Guantanamo Bay prison and indefinite detention are at odds with our
Nation's commitment to human rights and rule of law. There is no place
in America's traditions under the Constitution and under international
norms for indefinite detention without trial or adjudication.
Guantanamo Bay hurts America's standing around the world, it is a
recruiting tool for terrorists, and it is a huge waste of taxpayer
dollars. Again, we must strike an appropriate balance between national
security and America's fundamental principles. We cannot take actions
to preserve American values that at the same time are opposite those
very same values.
Finally, Congressman Pompeo's views on Muslims are troubling. He has
stated that Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in acts of
terrorism if they don't condemn it. Muslim leaders around the world
have condemned extremists' violence. Muslims around the world strongly
condemn such acts. Accusing Muslim leaders of complicity and acts of
terrorism that they have nothing to do with, that they oppose, is not
acceptable speech from a Director of a national security agency.
In conclusion, I want to underscore that I have nothing but respect
for the men and women who work in the Central Intelligence Agency. They
are true patriots who work hard every day, at personal risk, to keep
our Nation secure. These patriots deserve a leader who will keep our
Nation secure and secure our Nation's basic values.
In defense of America, in the name of national security, we must
protect Americans' constitutional rights, the rule of law, and human
rights. I believe Congressman Pompeo's views do not hold with American
values. His positions will not keep America safe. I think they could
undermine our security. For these reasons, I must oppose Congressman
Pompeo's nomination as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, in less than 2 hours, the United States
will have a new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Those
watching may conclude that perhaps there is still debate going on about
how we are going to vote. Everyone in the Senate knows how they are
going to vote on this confirmation. Quite frankly, the President
deserves the right to have someone at the CIA whom he trusts and is
going to do a good job at a very critical agency. This is a critical
component of our national security apparatus. It is unfortunate that
the first weekend as President he had to have that position vacant.
Nevertheless, that ill will be remedied here in about an hour and a
I am proud to stand in support of Congressman Pompeo, whom I got to
know well. He was very supportive of my efforts earlier last year when
I chose to pursue the Presidency. I got to know a lot about him in that
endeavor. So I want to take a few moments to tell the people of Florida
and those who may be watching this, now or in the future, a little bit
about their next Director of the CIA.
First of all, he is an incredibly respected leader. Anyone who has
interacted with him, anyone who watched the hearing before the
Intelligence Committee would conclude that he was a star in terms of
the way he presented himself. That is in line with his honorable
service during his time on the House Intelligence Committee, which he
has been on for over 6 years.
He is a graduate of West Point. He is an Army veteran. He finished at
the top of his class at Harvard Law. I don't think anyone here would
say that someone who went to West Point, who served in the Armed
Forces, and who finished at the top of his class at one of the most
exclusive law schools in the world does not qualify for the job. He
certainly has the intellect for it, but he also has a very keen
understanding of our national security issues, both as a Congressman
but also from a practical perspective, having operated in that space in
Senate Democrats, unfortunately, have delayed his confirmation for
political reasons. As I said earlier, we could have voted on this last
Friday, as the Senate Democratic leader had promised the chairman of
the Intelligence Committee. That word was not kept. Nevertheless, we
are here today, and we are going to move forward.
Our new Commander in Chief deserves and needs the Director of the CIA
in this job as soon as possible because we face a complex number of
dangerous threats, perhaps more than at any time in our recent memory.
These include the threat of radical Islamic terrorism--in Iraq, Syria,
Southeast Asia, North Africa, even here at home; Russian aggression
toward our friends and allies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. We face
the savage Assad regime in Syria, which continues to slaughter innocent
men, women, and children, targeting civilians in Aleppo and other
places. We, of course, face an increasingly unstable dictator in North
Korea who continues to develop long-range missiles, soon capable of
reaching the west coast of the United States--at least according to his
claims. We face an emboldened China which, in pursuing their
illegitimate territorial claims in the South China Sea, threatens to
destabilize the region. We face Iranian leaders--an Iranian leader who
still leads the chant of “Death to America” every week as they cheat
on the lax requirements of President Obama's flawed nuclear deal. We
face illicit trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, right here in our
own backyard, that destabilizes governments in the region and floods
the streets of our country with narcotics.
Quite frankly, Congressman Pompeo's national security experience
makes supporting his nomination one of the easiest nomination decisions
I have faced in the 6 years and 1 month that I have had the honor of
serving the people of Florida in the U.S. Senate.
As a military veteran, as a West Point graduate, as I said earlier,
he knows firsthand. We can read about this in a book. He knows
firsthand the role intelligence plays in helping the President and
other policymakers formulate both U.S. foreign policy and U.S. national
security policy and in turn protecting the American people.
Quite frankly, I believe any delay in approving this nomination
weakens America and strengthens our adversaries. It sends the wrong
message to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency who are
our first line of defense and among our finest public servants.
Congressman Pompeo served our country in the gulf war, and since 2011
he has served the country in Congress. I truly hope many of my
colleagues are willing to cross the aisle and support his nomination.
He is extraordinarily well qualified. It is a phenomenal thing for our
country that he will, in a few hours, be the new Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I wish to start my remarks by saying I
have tremendous respect for anybody who will go through the process of
confirmation. It is a tough, rigorous process, but it is a process that
is very important to this country. The Senate needs to confirm the
nominees, and we need to do our work as Senators to make sure the
people in the positions in the Cabinet are well-suited to those
In that regard, I am going to rise today in opposition to the
nomination of Mike Pompeo to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
As our Nation's top intelligence agency, the CIA plays a critical
role in keeping our country safe from those who want to do us harm, but
Mr. Pompeo envisions American intelligence-gathering that does much
more than keep us safe from our adversaries. He wants to collect the
private information of law-abiding citizens. Mr. Pompeo has advocated
for reestablishing bulk metadata collection, combining it with publicly
available financial and lifestyle information into a searchable,
That might sound fine, but it isn't. What this means is that a phone
call with your friend or coworker could be a conversation tracked by
the U.S. Government. That is not right. What this means is that a kid
from Lewistown, MT, who is attending college in Bozeman and feels
homesick and wants to call home on a Sunday afternoon, that could be
tracked. Look, he is not a threat to our country. A grandmother calling
her grandkids on their birthday to wish them happy birthday, that could
be a tracked. It is not a threat to our country.
This type of bulk data collection Mr. Pompeo advocates for fails to
protect our right to privacy and potentially treats innocent Americans
like hostile actors. The threats we face in this world are real, but we
cannot afford to revive and expand some of the worst elements of the
PATRIOT Act. Every American has a fundamental right to privacy, and Mr.
Pompeo has indicated he is willing to sacrifice that right. The
President deserves to have the guy in office whom he wants, but we
can't allow a person to be in office that is going to take away our
privacy, take away our civil liberties.
It has been pointed out on this floor before all the bad people out
there--in North Korea, in China, in Iran, in Syria, in Russia. Let me
be clear. We must strengthen our national security, but we do not have
to sacrifice our civil liberties in that process.
We can have a safe nation that respects our fundamental freedoms.
Both are possible. Because of these reasons--of bulk metadata
collection and infringement on our civil liberties in this country--I
cannot support Mr. Pompeo. I urge my colleagues to look at what he is
requesting and oppose his nomination.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, the new Director of the CIA must focus on
uncovering facts about the many complex national security threats
confronting our Nation. Now is the time to turn the page on our
discussions of old programs and activities, which we have thoroughly
reviewed and addressed.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 included
a provision to apply the Army Field Manual's interrogation requirements
to all U.S. agencies, including the CIA. Congressman Mike Pompeo voted
for that law. During both our personal conversations and his
confirmation hearing, Congressman Pompeo has repeatedly committed to me
that he will comply with the law as Director of CIA. He also committed
to me that if, after talking to professional officers of the CIA, he
has any recommendations for changing the law or updating current
guidelines, he will present those recommendations to the Congress.
I have no reason to doubt Congressman Pompeo's word, and I fully
support his confirmation. Going forward, I will continue to closely
monitor this issue and use my oversight powers to ensure the law is
Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I rise today in opposition to the
nomination of Mike Pompeo to serve as Director of the Central
Representative Pompeo has been wrong on many critical intelligence
issues during his 6 years in Congress.
He will not disavow his past support of torture.
He opposed the release of the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence's torture report.
He has advocated for reinstating mass surveillance of American
He recently left the door open to outsourcing surveillance of
American citizens to foreign governments to circumvent existing laws.
He opposes the closure of Guantanamo.
He opposes the Iran nuclear agreement.
Congressman Pompeo is the wrong person to the lead the Central
I urge my colleagues to vote no on his nomination.
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, President Trump has repeatedly called
into question the integrity and professionalism of the brave men and
women in our intelligence community. In addition, throughout the
campaign, his statements revealed a dangerous propensity to ignore
important principles of civil and religious liberty.
Under these circumstances, it is especially important that the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency be an individual who will
implement the Agency's vital national security responsibilities in a
manner consistent with our Constitution and the rule of law. The head
of the CIA must ensure that the men and women of the Agency are not
pressured by the President--or anyone else--to violate important
American values and principles.
Congressman Mike Pompeo has impressive credentials; and, should he be
confirmed, I pledge to work with him to support the national security
missions of the CIA. However, his positions on spying on Americans, the
use of torture, and religious minorities cause me to question this
Modern nations must have intelligence agencies to help keep us safe.
Thus, in the 1947 National Security Act, Congress created the Central
Intelligence Agency. The CIA provides the President and senior
policymakers with vital national security intelligence.
But the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies must work within our
Constitution. By design, the CIA has no law enforcement role. And the
law focuses the CIA on overseas intelligence gathering, limiting what
it can do here in the United States.
Our Constitution limits how much intelligence agencies and government
generally can intrude into the lives of Americans. The Fourth Amendment
to the Constitution provides: “The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” To conduct searches,
the Constitution requires the government to have probable cause and get
a warrant. Congress passed and the States ratified the Fourth Amendment
as part of the Bill of Rights, in response to the abuse of general
search warrants issued by the British in pre-Revolutionary America.
Thus, in 2015, a Federal judge ruled that the National Security
Agency's program of systematically collecting Americans' domestic phone
records likely violated the Constitution. And also in 2015, Congress
enacted the USA FREEDOM Act in large part to limit that program. The
USA FREEDOM Act represented real progress and a departure from the
untenable situation before the law. It ensured that the intelligence
community and law enforcement have the necessary tools that they need
to protect our Nation, but it does so in a manner that is consistent
with the fundamental principles in our Constitution.
Congressman Pompeo, however, has been an ardent proponent of the data
collection that the Federal judge ruled likely unconstitutional. In a
recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, Mr. Pompeo wrote that Congress
should reestablish the collection of metadata and also combine it
“with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a
comprehensive, searchable database.” And in 2015, Congressman Pompeo
introduced the so-called Liberty Through Strength Act II, which would
have rolled back the reforms of the USA FREEDOM Act
Indeed, Mr. Pompeo apparently has a troubling bias against privacy.
Mr. Pompeo wrote in the Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that “the use
of strong encryption in personal communications may itself be a red
I am also deeply concerned about Congressman Pompeo's position on
torture. After release of the 2014 Senate torture report, Mr. Pompeo
said, “These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The
programs being used were within the law, within the Constitution.” If
Mr. Pompeo's conception of the law and the Constitution would allow the
use of the torture that the 2014 report documented, then I am concerned
that he reads our Constitution's protections too narrowly. If
confirmed, Mr. Pompeo's support for such torture techniques as
described in the 2014 Senate torture report could once again harm
America's reputation abroad and endanger American troops whom our
enemies might capture.
I am also concerned that Mr. Pompeo has been an enthusiastic
supporter of the Guantanamo Bay prison. When MSNBC's Craig Melvin asked
Mr. Pompeo in 2013 about a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison,
Mr. Pompeo said, “The last thing to say about these folks who are
supposedly hunger strikers is that they look to me like a lot of them
had put on weight.” And last year, Mr. Pompeo said, “The detainees at
GTMO are treated exceptionally well--so well that some have even
declined to be resettled, instead choosing to stay at GTMO.”
In fact, the Guantanamo Bay prison is a blot on America's reputation
in the world. As President Obama has said, “Keeping this facility open
is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It
is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest
standards of rule of law.” If confirmed, Mr. Pompeo's support for the
prison would harm American interests in the world.
Mr. Pompeo has also cast aspersion on Muslims generally. In a 2013
statement on the House floor, Congressman Pompeo said:
“When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in
the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single
faith, and are performed in the name of that faith, a special
obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith.
Instead of responding, their silence has made most Islamic
leaders across America complicit in these acts. . . . But the
silence in the face of extremism coming from the best funded
Islamic advocacy organizations and many mosques across
America is absolutely deafening. It casts doubt upon the
commitment to peace by adherents by the Muslim faith.”
It is unacceptable to smear all Muslims based on the actions of
radical extremists who seek to hijack the name of Islam for their evil
purposes. That kind of demagoguery has no place in our country.
Placing someone who maligns all Muslims in charge of the CIA would be
a propaganda boon to enemies who seek to portray America's foreign
policy as a war against Islam. And the expression of such views by a
senior government official could discourage Muslim Americans from
working with law enforcement here at home.
Run properly, the Central Intelligence Agency makes an important
contribution to keeping America safe. But run poorly, the CIA can
embarrass the Nation in the world and ultimately endanger our troops,
our diplomats, and Americans abroad.
It is thus important that the person who heads the CIA be a person
who respects the Constitution and understands the limits that the
Constitution and statutes place on the Agency's role. While I hope he
will prove me wrong, Mr. Pompeo's statements lead me to conclude that
he is not the right person for this job.
Mr. TESTER. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). The clerk will call the roll.
The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order
for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I rise today to oppose the nomination of
Mike Pompeo to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. At a
time when we are facing massive attacks against privacy rights thanks
to the explosion of technology, we should be greatly troubled by giving
power to a person who has stated flat-out that he wants to expand the
surveillance state, not rein it in.
Here is the kind of world we are now living in, a world that should
be of concern to every freedom-loving American, whether you are
Democrat or Republican or Independent, conservative or progressive. We
are living in a world where government and the private sector often
know where you are at any time. They know where you are. They know
where you are traveling. They know what books you are reading, what Web
sites you are visiting, and maybe the emails you are sending out or
I hear a whole lot of discussion on the floor of the Senate about
freedom, about our desire to live and defend a free society. I would
ask my colleagues and the American people--when we talk about freedom,
one of the attributes of a free society is the right to live our lives
the way we want to live our lives, without Big brother knowing
everything there is to know about us. You want to do what you want to,
it is your business; I want to do what I want to do, it is my
business--if we are not harming other people. I believe that is a basic
American right and a basic constitutional right, and I want to see
people at the CIA, at the NSA, at other intelligence agencies who, yes,
will be vigorous about defending us from terrorism but will do it in a
way that is constitutional, that protects the civil liberties and the
civil rights of the American people.
According to the Pew Internet Project, today 95 percent of American
adults own a cell phone. More than three-quarters of American adults
own a smartphone. Eighty-eight percent of American adults use the
Internet. These advancements obviously have enormous advantages.
Everybody knows all of the extraordinary things we can do on the
Internet and all the information we can gain. It is almost unthinkable
that we were living not so many years ago without the advantages of the
Internet. All of these advantages, all of these conveniences come with
If you have a Google account and the GPS enabled on your phone,
Google creates a map for you of every single place you go in a given
day. Facebook amasses a massive amount of data on you to better target
commercials and advertisements to you. Credit card companies track your
spending habits. Even innocuous things like a loyalty program in which
you gain benefits by buying at a certain store give the private sector
and the government eventually access to a massive amount of information
When you go to the grocery store and scan your card, it is very
convenient, moves things faster, and you can get a discount, but the
store gets to track everything you purchase. Is that really what want?
Do you want the whole world to have knowledge of everything you
purchase? For just one rather famous example, Target--a huge chain in
America--could tell if a woman was pregnant based on what she was
purchasing at the store. Do we really feel comfortable about that kind
of information getting out into the private sector or the government
If you are wearing a tracking device today to count your steps, to
count your heart rate and your sleep patterns, you may see it as a way
to become healthier. Your employer or health insurance company,
however, may see it as a way to charge you more if you don't meet
certain employee wellness targets. Are we really comfortable about
corporations knowing all about our health? If you are dealing with a
serious illness, maybe it is something you and your family want to keep
within the bosom of your family and not spread to the whole world.
That companies are collecting this much information on their own is
very troubling to me, but Mr. Pompeo apparently wants to go even
further. Last January, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal
in which he wrote:
Congress should pass a law reestablishing collection of all
metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial
and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable
database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance
should be removed.
Wow. What we are talking about is the U.S. Government having, in many
ways, more information about us than we may even understand about our
own lives. In many ways, it sounds to me that we are moving toward an
Orwellian society where, between the government and the private sector,
there is very little about ourselves that is not known by somebody
else. I am very, very uncomfortable about that.
I want at the head of the CIA somebody who understands thoroughly the
Constitution of the United States and privacy rights and understands
that we can fight terrorism effectively within the Constitution and the
privacy rights guaranteed to the people of our country.
Since June of 2013, here is what we have already learned that the NSA
collects: phone call metadata, including the numbers of both parties--
my number and the number of the person I call--the location, time, and
duration of that telephone call. NSA has access to text messages, email
chat, and Internet browsing history, smartphone app data, including map
data, which can pinpoint a person's location to within a few yards.
They have maps of people's social networks and bank and credit card
transactions. That is a lot of information held by the government and/
or the private sector on the personal lives of the American people.
As I have mentioned, there is nobody in this Congress who does not
understand the threat of terrorism and does not want to see our
government be as strong and vigorous as possible in fighting terrorism
and getting all the information we need to effectively combat
terrorism, to make sure that if somebody is a suspect in terrorist
activities, that we go after that person as strongly and as effectively
as we can. I believe from the bottom of my heart that we can do that
without invading the privacy rights of the American people.
It is not acceptable for Senator after Senator to come here and say
we are defending freedom, we live in a free society, and then vote to
allow the government or the private sector to have an unbelievable
amount of knowledge about each and every one of our personal lives.
Now more than ever, it is vital to have a head of the CIA who will
stand up for our Constitution, stand up for privacy rights.
Unfortunately, in my view, Mr. Pompeo is not that individual.
With that, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The Senator from Oklahoma.
Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I rise today to support Congressman Mike
Pompeo for the CIA. He isn't somebody I just met in my office to be
able to talk with; he isn't just somebody I served with in the House. I
know him personally. For 6 years, he served on the House Intelligence
Committee. He struggled through the legal issues of what it means to be
in the CIA and also have good oversight, understanding those
difficulties that keep America safe but also making sure we protect the
privacy rights of Americans.
Mike Pompeo was a Harvard law grad at the top of his class. He gets
this information. He understands the constitutional implications. He is
also a top graduate of West Point, serving in the Army as well. He
knows what it means to be able to defend this country. He is one of the
most qualified people out there to possibly serve in this role,
understanding the legal implications, having 6 years of service on the
House Intelligence Committee, understanding the background, what it
means to seek real oversight and to be able to struggle through these
He is a person of great integrity, and he is a person who will
passionately help protect the Nation. He is a person who holds
tremendous respect for the people serving in our intelligence
community--people who most of us will never, ever meet but work every
single day to be able to keep our Nation secure. These are individuals
who are also passionate about not only keeping our Nation secure but
also maintaining the constitutional protections we have always had as a
I heard a lot of the debate today, and I have been astounded at some
of the conversations coming out. Let me just recap a couple of these
things that I have heard because it was surprising to me. On the issue
of advice and consent from the Senate, it seems that some people have
not actually read the written testimony and the questions for the
record that Mike Pompeo has put out there or listened to his actual
testimony or maybe seen his voting record when he was in the House of
Representatives. For instance, there is this conversation sitting out
there about torture--that he is going to somehow promote torture. He
has stated over and over again that he would abide by the law and the
Army Field Manual. That is what every candidate would say on that. That
is the actual law. He has been very clear on that; he doesn't promote
torture. I don't know what else he would have to say. Yet it continues
to come up that somehow the head of the CIA is going to promote
I have also heard that he wants to keep Gitmo open. Well, I would
stand in line with him on that one. For those of us who have actually
been to Guantanamo Bay and have seen it, it is a modern prison
facility. It is not some dog cage out there that is holding people out
in the weather. Neither is it a place that is doing torture. Guantanamo
Bay is a place where the worst of the worst terrorists are being
detained and held for trial. The issue of the past 8 years wasn't just
that the Obama administration was working as hard as they could to
release as many terrorists as they could from there; it is that they
weren't taking them to trial. That is the right action--not to do
indefinite detention but to actually work toward trial for these
individuals. But in the meantime, they should be held at Guantanamo
Bay, which is a modern prison facility, and it is the appropriate spot
to be able to hold terrorists offshore.
Then there are all of these conversations about collecting data, as
if Mike Pompeo wants to scan through all of our Facebook pages. May I
remind everyone that the Central Intelligence Agency is focused on
foreign intelligence gathering--outward facing. The FBI is focused on
the United States, on what is happening with U.S. persons. The CIA has
strict prohibitions from gathering data on U.S. persons. The comments
he made about gathering any kind of information on social networks and
about gathering from what is publicly available is something all of us,
I think, should support. If anyone outside the United States--whether
they be in Pakistan, whether they be in Syria, or wherever they may
be--is on social networks talking about the destruction of the United
States, I would assume someone is tracking that, and that someone would
be the CIA. We would hold the head of the CIA to account, saying:
Weren't you tracking this terrorist's Facebook page, at least? Weren't
you tracking their Twitter account? So for him to make a public
statement that we should gather information on social media, I think
all of us would agree, hopefully, that, yes, on foreign terrorists we
should gather as much as we can possibly gather from the publicly
available information, whatever it may be. Comments about his wanting
to expand data collection fly in the face of reality when he voted as a
Member of the House of Representatives to limit data collection.
I have no issue supporting Mike Pompeo. He is very experienced, he is
very well educated, he is well prepared for the task, and he is
passionate about keeping our Nation safe within the bounds of the law.
That is what we
want a CIA Director to do: to passionately go to work to honor our
civil liberties. We want to make sure he is standing up for us every
single day. In the moments when our Nation is asleep, we want to know
the great folks of the CIA are awake and watching because the threats
that we face internationally are very real.
I am glad Mike Pompeo is going to be at the watch. I look forward to
voting for him in a very few minutes.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order
for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, I thank my colleague Senator Wyden for
leading this important discussion. I joined the Senate Intelligence
Committee 4 years ago, just a few short months before the public
release of thousands of classified documents forced our country to have
a debate over the scope and reach of America's surveillance programs,
especially as they relate to American citizens.
That debate has formed the backdrop for national security policy
decisions ever since, and I am very proud of the positive steps we have
made toward reclaiming our civil liberties while still giving our
intelligence and law enforcement communities the tools they need and
deserve to anticipate threats, track down terrorists, and keep this
Nation safe. It is because of Congressman Pompeo's opposition to those
important reforms that I rise today to oppose his nomination to be the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Congressman Pompeo has a
long legislative and rhetorical history on surveillance, on torture,
and on other issues that I believe we simply cannot overlook in
considering his nomination.
In our conversations, in answers to written questions, and during his
confirmation hearing, Congressman Pompeo has often said the right thing
or tried to give answers that on their face give the impression that he
has changed his positions on these issues. But we need to carefully
review the Congressman's votes and public statements to be sure that he
understands the importance of protecting Americans' constitutionally
guaranteed civil liberties and meeting the needs of our national
security at the same time.
I was proud to help lead the effort to pass the USA FREEDOM Act in
2015 to finally end the government's overreach, their dragnet
collection of law-abiding Americans' personal information, and provide
the intelligence community with an updated legal framework that ensures
they have the tools they need to focus on the records of actual
terrorists, while at the same time protecting the privacy of innocent
Although the Congressman voted to support the USA FREEDOM Act in
2015, within a year, he had backtracked, writing a column for the
National Review that stated:
Those who today suggest that the USA FREEDOM Act, which
gutted the National Security Agency's (NSA) metadata program,
enables the intelligence community to better prevent and
investigate threats against the U.S. are lying. I use that
A few weeks later, Congressman Pompeo in the Wall Street Journal
wrote: “Congress should pass a law reestablishing collection of all
metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and
lifestyle information in a comprehensive, searchable database.”
I think I should read that one more time: “Congress should pass a
law reestablishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with
publicly available financial and lifestyle information in a
comprehensive, searchable data base.”
Wow. I think we should unpack that sentence a little bit. First, when
asked by Senator Wyden and me to clarify what metadata he believes
should be collected, Congressman Pompeo made clear that he was
referring to a rollback of the USA FREEDOM Act and a return to the
warrantless and unnecessary collection of billions of communication
records for millions of innocent Americans not suspected of any crime.
Shortly after Congressman Pompeo's Wall Street Journal column was
published, the NSA's general counsel wrote in a column in Lawfare:
“Largely overlooked in the debate that has ensued . . . is the fact
that under the new arrangement”--meaning the USA FREEDOM Act--“our
national security professionals will have access to a greater volume of
call records subject to query in a way that is consistent with our
regard for civil liberties.”
But, really, it is the second part of Congressman Pompeo's position
that gives me far more concern. What exactly does he mean by calling
for the collection of “publicly available financial and lifestyle
information” and placing it into a “comprehensive, searchable data
base”? When asked to clarify his proposal, Congressman Pompeo
declined. However, I think it is clear from the context of both his
columns and his public statements that he believes the U.S. Government
ought to be collecting dramatically more private information from
innocent Americans who are not under investigation for a crime.
Let me be clear. The Federal Government has no business collecting
“lifestyle information” on its own citizens, and innocent Americans
should expect that their private financial data is just that--private.
This flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment.
On torture, Congressman Pompeo's record is also clear: He has
supported it. Congressman Pompeo thinks it was a mistake to stop the
enhanced interrogation program. He issued a very personal attack
against then-Committee Chairman Feinstein when the committee released
its report on the CIA detention and interrogation program. And while he
acknowledges that CIA interrogation techniques are currently limited to
those contained in the Army Field Manual, Congressman Pompeo said to
our committee that he will “consult with experts at the Agency and at
other organizations in the U.S. government on whether the Army Field
Manual uniform application is an impediment to gathering vital
intelligence to protect the country or whether any rewrite of the Army
Field Manual is needed.”
One could easily infer that the Congressman would ask the CIA
officers who participated in the detention and interrogation program
whether they believe the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual
are sufficient. If he is told they are not, he has certainly left open
the option of literally rewriting the Army Field Manual. This is
problematic for a number of reasons and should be of deep concern to my
Finally, the day before his nomination was announced, Congressman
Pompeo tweeted that he was looking forward to “rolling back” the Iran
nuclear agreement, which ended each and every pathway for Iran to
develop a weaponized nuclear device, including a covert path. When I
asked him about this in our hearing, Congressman Pompeo said: “That
communication was approved before I was aware that I was going to be
the nominee to the Central Intelligence Agency.” The Congressman went
on to say that in his view, the Iran nuclear agreement was a “mistake
for American national security,” but as CIA Director, he would “work
to make sure it is fully implemented and will endeavor to provide
straight information” about the progress being made in reducing Iran's
nuclear capability. However, given his deep antipathy toward the Iran
agreement, I have serious concerns about his ability to be objective
about this issue, which is critical to the stability of the entire
Middle East and to our efforts to ensure that Iran never develops a
Having said all of this, if the Congressman is confirmed, I hope he
will fulfill one of the commitments he made to me: to improve the
communications and relationship between the oversight committees in
Congress and the Agency itself. It is my hope that a CIA Director
coming from outside the Agency will give greater weight to informing
the Intelligence Committee of the CIA's activities than his immediate
predecessor has. Congressman Pompeo, if confirmed, will have an
opportunity to recalibrate this relationship, and, if given the chance,
I hope he seizes that opportunity.
Thank you. I yield the floor.
Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for
the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I want to be very brief. I know colleagues
are facing tough weather and are trying to deal with the logistics of
all that. I just want to close with a couple of points.
The first is that I have heard several of my colleagues say to me
that a central reason for voting for Congressman Pompeo this afternoon
is that they have said that he voted for the USA FREEDOM Act. That is
correct. The problem is that just a few months after he cast that vote,
the Congressman turned around and said he wanted to reestablish the
bulk phone record program in a way that was vastly more encompassing
and way more intrusive than the USA FREEDOM Act abolished. What he was
proposing after he voted for the USA FREEDOM Act, which says that
Congress says you ought to have limits, was a bulk metadata program
that was way beyond anything that the Bush-Cheney administration ever
I have been on the Senate Intelligence Committee since before
September 11. I have been in the middle of countless debates about the
appropriate scope of government surveillance, but I have never heard--
not from anyone--an idea that was so extreme and so overreaching and so
intrusive of Americans' privacy. I bring this up only by way of saying
that, if confirmed, the nominee is going to be dealing with a whole
host of issues that, if we really think it through carefully and
thoughtfully, we can find a way to ensure that Americans have security
and liberty and that the two are not mutually exclusive. If we do it
wrong, which would certainly happen if one were to weaken strong
encryption, we will end up with less of both--less security and less
With respect to the process, I would only say that this matter of the
way the Congressman handled his views with respect to surveillance and
torture and Russia really reflect how his views change on a major
issue, whether it is surveillance or torture or Russia, depending on
the time and who he is talking to. I just don't think that ought to be
the standard for winning support to head an agency as important as the
I know my colleagues are on a very tight time schedule. I appreciate
the fact that we have had a chance to have this debate. I urge my
colleagues to oppose this nomination.
I yield back.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). The Senator from North
Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I am not sure if we need to yield back the
time or not.
Let me state that the committee had an open hearing that was
unlimited. We didn't cut off questions. We had a closed session that
was unlimited. We didn't cut off questions. The nominee asked to see
every Member and didn't cut off the length of time he was willing to
answer any questions. He handled more than 150 questions for the record
and answered them honestly. At the end of the day, when it came to
those questions that were of most interest to most Members, he said: I
am going to follow the law. That is exactly how we would expect or hope
a nominee would, in fact, respond.
But I ask you to look at Mike Pompeo, Representative Pompeo,
Congressman Pompeo's record: West Point grad, first in his class,
served his country with distinction, went to Harvard, opened up an
aerospace business, became the CEO, ran a successful business, decided
that his life needed to have community service in it, ran for Congress,
served four terms representing Kansas's Fourth District.
This is an individual who, as a member of the House Intelligence
Committee, committed to do the things that--as the Presiding Officer
knows because he is on the Senate select committee--are tough to do. He
traveled around the world to see firsthand the men and women who
operate in the shadows; the ones who we, on behalf of our other Members
of the Senate, certify are living within the letter of the law, that
they do things that only they can do because of the positions they
hold, but they do it with the laws of the United States in place. And
the 15 of--those of us who serve on the committee certified that for
our colleagues because in many cases they can't see behind the curtain
with the clarity we can.
Mike Pompeo did that. He traveled around the world. He saw firsthand
what these men and women do. They are invaluable to the security of
this country, and, I might add, they are invaluable to the policies we
as legislators put in place because they provide us with the
intelligence we need to make the right decisions. That is Mike Pompeo.
That is the person whom the President has nominated to be CIA Director.
I am not sure you can find a glove that fits any better for the Agency,
for the Congress of the United States, and for the administration, but
more importantly, for the American people. This glove fits perfectly to
make sure they are performing to keep America safe.
I hope all of my colleagues will vote for Mike Pompeo's confirmation.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that all debate
time on the nomination be yielded back.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There appears to be a sufficient second.
The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the Pompeo
The clerk will call the roll.
The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Connecticut (Mr.
Blumenthal) and the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Murphy) are
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Moran). Are there any other Senators in
the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 66, nays 32, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 32 Ex.]
The nomination was confirmed.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Under the previous order, the
motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the
President will be immediately notified of the Senate's action.
The Senator from Kansas.