Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) announced on Monday that he will vote to confirm CIA Director Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state.
Donnelly released a statement on Twitter expressing his support for Pompeo, who was nominated by President Donald Trump last month to replace Rex Tillerson at the State Department.
"When I met with Director Pompeo, we had a productive conversation about the complex security challenges we face, including the dangerous threat posed by North Korea's nuclear missile program. I strongly believe that a successful, peaceful outcome will require a comprehensive strategy and a full team on the field, including an effective State Department, to leverage all available tools," the statement reads. "We need a Secretary of State who will give the president an honest assessment on critical issues, including Russia, Syria, and the defeat of ISIS. I believe Director Pompeo is capable of advancing U.S. interests and leading the State Department, and I will support his nomination."
Joe announced his support for the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State. READ Joe’s statement: pic.twitter.com/ASsYpX869k
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) April 23, 2018
Donnelly joins Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) as the only Democrats so far to announce their support for Pompeo. All three Democrats face tough reelection challenges in states Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016.
The support of red-state Democrats will be vital in confirming Pompeo as Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate. Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) has maintained his intention to vote against Pompeo's nomination for the same reasons he opposed his confirmation as CIA director. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) is absent from the Senate undergoing treatment for cancer, and Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) is undecided.
Donnelly, Manchin, and Heitkamp were three of the 15 senators who crossed the aisle to vote for Pompeo's confirmation to lead the CIA over a year ago.