But Trump's choice for secretary of defense Thursday named Russian Federation as one of the nation's three most important adversaries.
According to his sworn testimony today, however, Pompeo said he would defy such an order, setting up a potential showdown in the coming administration.
"It [Russia] has invaded the Ukraine, including the taking of Crimea, and supported Syrian forces that brutally violate the laws of war", Rex Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It was a tricky balancing act: Pompeo had to stay in line with future boss Donald Trump, win the confidence of the Central Intelligence Agency rank and file, and keep Republican and Democratic senators on board.
Trump praised Putin during the campaign and afterward as a strong leader.
For weeks, the president-elect questioned the intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russian Federation used hacking and other tactics to try to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favour. Prior to their close ties during Trump's transition to presidency, Trump and Carson butted heads during the primaries, prompting the now president-elect to take to Twitter at one point to discuss Carson's temper.
The probe comes after US intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government was likely involved in a covert campaign to interfere in the USA election and carry out cyber-attacks on Democratic Party organizations. BUSTED: "19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked by Wikileaks".
Warner then asked, "Do you pledge to cooperate with the SSIC's [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] Russia inquiry and to provide and make possible all necessary materials and access to personnel, if needed?"
The week of open disagreement with the future boss left some political analysts puzzled. "I treated each and every member of the workforce I was responsible for at those times with the dignity and respect, and demanded of them the same things that I demanded of every other person that was working as part of my team".
As the domestic news media began pointing out the inconsistencies, Trump defended his nominees.
All of my Cabinet nominee are looking good and doing a great job.
That skeptical stance toward the threat posed by climate change echoed Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO nominated to serve as secretary of state. "I look forward to working with Chairman Burr on this tremendously important matter". It is going to be to work alongside warriors keeping Americans safe.
As CIA director, Pompeo could be caught in the role of mending relations between Trump and intelligence officials. He indicated he would assess Iran's compliance objectively.
He acknowledged that as a congressman, he was an outspoken advocate for ripping up President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, but told lawmakers that if confirmed, his "role will change" to building and protecting the us intelligence infrastructure and offering unvarnished intelligence to the White House, rather that making foreign policy himself.
Wyden said Pompeo's plan is "far more sweeping" than anything ever considered by Congress and would get the nation "back into the business of collecting millions and millions of phone records on law-abiding people".