President-elect Donald Trump has offered Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas the position of CIA director, his transition team said Friday.
Trump also selected retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as attorney general.
“He has served our country with honor and spent his life fighting for the security of our citizens,” Trump said of Pompeo in a statement. “Mike graduated number one in his class at West Point and is a graduate of Harvard Law School where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He will be a brilliant and unrelenting leader for our intelligence community to ensure the safety of Americans and our allies.”
Pompeo is a tea-party-aligned House member who originally supported Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in the GOP presidential primary. He expressed some criticism of Trump during the campaign but ultimately offered his support after Trump secured the Republican nomination.
“You have seen him make good decisions in his business life, his family life, with his children,” Pompeo said in July. “So I am excited for a commander in chief who fearlessly puts America out in front.”
Pompeo has been a strong opponent of President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, and he is well known for his fierce criticism of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation into the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Pompeo has been criticized in the past for his comments about Muslims, as he once argued in 2013 that clerics who failed to fully denounce terrorists were “complicit” in the attacks.
He also apologized in 2010 for a tweet his campaign posted that called his Indian-American opponent, Raj Goyle, a “turban topper” who “could be a Muslim, a hindy, a buddhist etc who knows.”