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Pompeo And Circumstance

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., the sole Republican who had earlier opposed President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he is changing his vote to yes, on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 23, 2018.

The Senate has narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state – with the blessing of former holdout Rand Paul.

The outgoing CIA director secured support from 57 lawmakers, including Kentucky’s junior senator, who had threatened to withhold support over concerns the Trump pick might steer the country toward a more aggressive, interventionalist foreign policy.

On Fox News, Paul said his conversations with the president and then-nominee Pompeo about Afghanistan, Syria, and the perils of pursuing regime change convinced him to change his tune.

"Pompeo has assured me that he shares the president's vision on foreign policy," the Bowling Green senator said. "That's a little bit more of a general statement... I'm not so sure the president's exactly where I am either, but the president tells me every time he does not want to remain in Syria and he's said that publicly."

Paul said he and the commander-in-chief "connect on a certain level" when discussing the issue.

Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, won confirmation on one of the slimmest vote margins for the job in recent history and was sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito Thursday afternoon at the Supreme Court.

The former CIA head has been deeply engaged in the administration's efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang.

President Donald Trump applauded the confirmation of his former CIA director as secretary of state, calling him a "patriot."

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