Pompeo set to win Senate committee's vote to be top U.S. diplomat

Pompeo set to win Senate committee's vote to be top U.S. diplomat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday was expected to approve the nomination of President Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, after a Republican

senator who had been opposed threw his support behind the nominee.

FILE PHOTO: CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's nominee to be Secretary of State, leaves a meeting with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Senator Rand Paul’s decision to vote for Pompeo’s nomination in the committee appeared to put it on course for approval on a party-line vote of 11-10.

While the full Senate was expected to approve the nomination even if the committee did not offer its backing, Paul’s switch means the nominee can avoid the embarrassment of being the first person nominated for the post known to fail to secure the panel’s endorsement.

“I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State,” Paul said on Twitter.

Paul has been known to threaten opposition on major policy positions staked out by Trump, including healthcare reform, only to change his mind at the last minute. Trump recently expressed confidence that the senator from Kentucky would come around to support Pompeo.

Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Peter Cooney