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Mike Pompeo: Five facts to know about Trump's new US Secretary of State

Reuters/ 13 Mar 18 | 09:39 PM

Mike Pompeo | Photo: Wikipedia

Following are the five facts about US Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, who the President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced will replace Rex Tillerson as US secretary of state.

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Mike Pompeo, 54, regularly briefs Donald Trump on intelligence matters, and is considered one of the most hawkish voices on North Korea in Trump’s inner circle.Pompeo has downplayed the extent of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election, saying Moscow has sought to influence American elections for decades. In February, he defended talks he had that month at CIA headquarters with Russian spy chiefs.ALSO READ: Trump fires Tillerson: How 'Rexit' rumour became a reality; 10 developments

Like Trump, Mike Pompeo is an outspoken critic of Iran and has called for scrapping the 2015 deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. In October, he said Iran was“mounting a ruthless drive to be the hegemonic power in the region."ALSO READ: Trump ousts Secy of State Rex Tillerson, ropes in CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Pompeo has supported the US government’s sweeping collection of Americans’ communications data. In an opinion piece published in 2016, he called for restarting the bulk collection of domestic telephone metadata and combining it with financial and lifestyle information into one searchable database.ALSO READ: Oil jumps after Trump fires Rex Tillerson putting Iran nuke deal in focus

Before taking the reins at the CIA in January, Pompeo was a conservative Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Kansas. He is a retired Army officer and a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, and Harvard Law School.

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