Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as 70th secretary of state

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Mike Pompeo says he's "humbled by the responsibility" of serving as secretary of state as he departs on his first trip as America's top diplomat.

Senators on Thursday voted 57 to 42 in favour of US President Donald Trump's nominee, ending a hard confirmation process dogged by stiff resistance from the Democrats.

Prior to the vote Thursday, SBA List states the group "launched a five-figure digital ad and phone call campaign targeting key Senators and urging them to vote to confirm Pompeo".

Pompeo is poised to come close to a record on opposition votes received by a Secretary of State nominee.

Trump nominated Pompeo for the job upon firing Rex Tillerson, who served as secretary of state since Trump's nomination.

Just after Pompeo's vote, the Senate is expected to vote on Richard Grenell to be the next Ambassador to Germany.

"As longtime admirers and supporters of the State Department's defense of American interests and values across the globe, and as proud civil society partners in that vital mission, AJC congratulates you on your swearing-in as Secretary of State", said AJC CEO David Harris.

Pompeo is taking office amid several pressing high-profile foreign policy developments, including a pending historic bilateral meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Pompeo met while Central Intelligence Agency director in the run-up to the sit-down.

"The Senate has made a mistake of historic proportions by rubber-stamping Donald Trump's war cabinet", Jamal Abdi, executive director of NIAC Action, said in a statement following Thursday's vote. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In the North Korean capital he met with leader Kim Jong Un ahead of the planned meeting with Trump, expected in late May or June.

"He said he was "brought to Jesus Christ" during his early years as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point by two of his classmates".

Pompeo's confirmation comes after weeks of uncertainty as to whether he would make it through the Senate at all, given the robust objection from almost every corner of civil society and with theearly opposition of Sen. A staunch Iran critic, Pompeo has long deplored the 2015 nuclear accord but has supported Trump's efforts to get European allies to strengthen restrictions on Iran.

In Brussels, Pompeo will attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers summit and meet with the top diplomats from Turkey and Italy.

But during his confirmation hearing, he said he was open to fixing, rather than blowing apart, the pact.

He is expected to be sworn into office immediately and then to depart within hours of the vote for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday.