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WASHINGTON – In an interview with Laura Ingraham that aired on Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle”, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today discussed the nomination of Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state, whether sanctuary cities will be defunded in the upcoming spending bill, his support for tax reform, and other news of the day. Excerpts follow.

On the nomination of Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state:

“I don’t know Pompeo very well, but I do hear very good things about him. He is going to be in the office later this week, and I look forward to a good confirmation process… The president called me this morning on his way out West about 10:00 from Air Force One, and as I mentioned to him, every one of these people serve at his pleasure. It is his decision.”

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

On whether sanctuary cities will be defunded in the upcoming spending bill:

“I think we should follow through on defunding [sanctuary cities]… But regardless of the defunding, which I hope occurs, it is an awful amount of money. We are spending $2 trillion more over the next decade if we go through with this process. I think the American people ought to be alarmed by the massive amount of spending that is in this bill, and we ought to defund sanctuary cities.”

On his support for tax reform:

“I have been a deficit hawk my entire time [in the Senate], but I have also been a pro-growth [tax reform] person. Nothing is perfect here… But at the end of the day, I am glad the economy is growing. I am glad businesses are hiring people and wages are going up.”

On deterring Russian aggression:

“[During the Obama administration], we tried to get lethal defensive weapons into Ukraine and couldn’t do it. We passed a bill to make that happen, and now the Trump administration is sending those lethal defensive weapons [into Ukraine].”

“I heard President Trump speak up today about the [situation] in the U.K. I think the rhetoric from him is getting stronger. Certainly, Congress on both sides of the aisle has been pushing back. Russia is a problem.”

On the administration’s decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports:

“Well, I wish [the president] would focus more on China. I’ll just be honest. It looks like we’re trying to punish our allies when the focus should be multilaterally against China.”

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