Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President-elect Trump’s nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has earned a reputation in Washington as a hawkish, partisan fighter unafraid to express his views. Given Trump’s lack of experience on foreign policy, both he and the President-elect’s other key national security advisors could go a long way in determining the incoming administration’s policy. But Pompeo’s track record of hyping threats, issuing provocative calls for regime change, and underselling the burdens of military action against Iran all bode poorly for the direction he would help take a Trump administration as CIA director.
Pompeo has been a fierce ideological opponent of the Iran nuclear accord and gone out of his way to work to roll back the multilateral agreement. Perhaps most disconcertingly, Pompeo has downplayed the costs of bombing Iran, hyped bogus “secret side deals” in order to discredit the accord and engaged in public political stunts harmful to U.S. diplomatic efforts. That record raises strong concerns of whether he will be able to advance a balanced assessment of intelligence related to Iran and the nuclear deal to the President, Congress and American people at a sensitive time in U.S.-Iran relations.