President Trump has confirmed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo held a clandestine meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang over two weeks ago. The secret meeting came as President Trump and Kim Jong-un are preparing for a possible face-to-face meeting, which would be the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with a North Korean leader.
Mike Pompeo is President Trump’s nominee to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Critics are asking why the CIA director was chosen to carry out the clandestine talks and whether the leaking of the story is related to the increasing resistance to his confirmation from lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen have all said they will vote against recommending Pompeo to the full Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could still bring Pompeo’s confirmation vote to the Senate floor, although it would be the first time for a secretary of state nominee to fail to be recommended by the committee since 1925.