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WASHINGTON – During an appearance on Fox News “America’s Newsroom”, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today discussed President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state and the U.S. and United Kingdom deterring Russian aggression. Excerpts follow.

On the nomination of Mike Pompeo:

“He's very smart. He obviously knows a lot about the world being head of the CIA, and I look forward to sitting down and talking with him soon. We had a very nice conversation yesterday.”

“We have got the North Korea meeting coming up, numbers of issues with Russia and China we need to deal with, so hopefully both sides of the aisle will understand the importance of having a secretary of state in place, and I hope it goes very well.”

Yesterday Corker announced that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expects to hold a hearing on the Pompeo nomination in April.

On Rex Tillerson’s service as secretary of state:

“I had a very close relationship with Secretary Tillerson. I thought he gave sound advice. I enjoyed working with him very much.”

“Ultimately, the president needs to have a secretary of state that he feels good about. As I said to him yesterday when he called to let me know that Secretary Tillerson would be leaving and he was going to be nominating Pompeo, look, everyone who serves in a Cabinet position serves at his pleasure, and he needs to have people that he has faith in [in place].”

On the United Kingdom’s response to Russia:

“If have you a country that you believe has come into your country to attempt to assassinate somebody, you’ve got to push back. I thank them for that.”

On the U.S. deterring Russian aggression:

“Remember that the United States has also expelled Russians. We closed the facility in Maryland. We closed part of a facility in California. So, we’ve been doing similar things. We've got strong sanctions in place against them. More will roll out against some of the wealthiest people in Russia. As a community of people who care about democracy and freedom and liberty and justice, all of us need to be pushing back against the nefarious activities of Putin and Russia, which seek to disrupt and divide countries like ours.”

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