Mike Pompeo narrowly confirmed as Secretary of State

The Senate narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state on Thursday, clearing the path for him to take over as the top U.S. diplomat just as President Donald Trump faces high-risk moments on Iran and North Korea.

ompeo, the outgoing CIA director, secured support from 57 senators, with 42 voting no — one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history. Every past nominee for the job since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes in the Senate, with the exception of Trump's first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who got 56.

Shortly after the vote, he was sworn in as the U.S.'s 70th secretary of state and was expected to depart within hours of the vote for Europe on his first trip as secretary of state.

Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, is expected to guide Trump's foreign policy in a more right-leaning direction than Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO fired by Trump on Twitter last month. He inherits a State Department and diplomatic corps that is deeply demoralized after a tumultuous first year under Tillerson, who pushed budget and staff cuts and eschewed public appearances while leaving key diplomatic positions unfilled.

The Senate vote followed an uneasy confirmation process for Pompeo that underscored President Donald Trump's growing difficulties in getting nominees in place for top positions. On Monday, it appeared Pompeo would fail a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but the panel ultimately cleared him after last-minute support from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

A long list of pressing issues awaits him including a decision on the Iran nuclear deal and Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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