Since being named as the uncomfortably ousted Rex Tillerson‘s replacement as Secretary of State, soon-to-be-former CIA director Mike Pompeo has faced an uncertain confirmation process. However and apparently as part of the effort to appease the Senate, Pompeo has turned to an unlikely source of advice — former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
According to Politico, Pompeo has been reaching out to every living ex-secretary of state, including Clinton and John Kerry, and Clinton has reportedly accepted Pompeo’s advice-seeking calls, despite Pompeo’s past as a Benghazi-criticizing Republican congressman. During their talks, Clinton reportedly told Pompeo to “stem the flight of career diplomats who quit under Tillerson.” Some more details:
While juggling his day job at the CIA, the person said, Pompeo has been participating in briefing sessions at the State Department, reading thick stacks of material, much of it country-specific, and participating in mock Q&As to prepare for a sure-fire grilling before U.S. senators. He’s also talking to a range of people at the State Department, including career civil and foreign service staffers who felt sidelined under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Sources tell Politico that this is all part of a “mixture of crash course and charm offensive” in advance of Thursday’s confirmation hearing where Pompeo is hoping to secure some Democrat votes.
Even with Clinton’s help, Pompeo faces an uphill battle. Not only has Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) stated that he will oppose Pompeo, but he’s likely to face some tough questions regarding his support for the Iraq War, his closeness with President Trump, his support of torture, his negative stance on the Iran deal, and his support of regime change policy.