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While most senators questioning Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) chose to focus on subject matters like terrorism, torture, and intelligence gathering during his hearing to become the next director of the CIA, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) used her time during the hearing to focus on his views on climate change and equal protection laws for LGBT CIA workers.

After Pompeo told Harris he believed the findings of the report on Russian activities during the presidential election provided to the intelligence community, the senator brought up the nominee's previous record on gay rights, saying:

“Your voting record and stated position on gay marriage and the importance of having a 'traditional family structure' for raising children is pretty clear. I disagree with your position but of course you’re entitled to your position. I don’t want that however to impact on that matter — the recruitment or retention of patriotic LGBT women and men in the CIA, some of whom have taken great risks to their lives for our country. Can you commit to me that your personal views on this issue will remain your personal views and will not impact internal policies that you put in place at the CIA?”

The nominee replied by citing his own experience managing his security company and an oilfield equipment company:

“In my life as a private businessman … 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.”

And when Harris asked if the congressman would commit to providing LGBT CIA employees with equal “childcare services, family benefits, and accompanied post for dependence,” Pompeo said stayed away from specifics, reiterating that he would execute “appropriate and equal” treatment, but added that he “can't imagine” putting policies in place that would be discriminatory to any CIA employees.

Along the lines of equal protection, Pompeo also committed to not stifling recruitment or retention of Muslim intelligence officials.

Then, Harris asked Pompeo about the CIA's acknowledgement of the “impact of climate change” on global instability. Pompeo responded, in part, saying that reports of climate change “are part of that foreign intelligence collection."

And when Harris brought up the fact that Pompeo “questioned” the validity of climate change science, he said he preferred not to “get into the details of climate debates.”

“My role is going to be so different and unique from that,” Pompeo added. “I stand by the things that I’ve said with respect to that issue.”

View Comments(38 comments)
Ron Long(11 likes)Several years ago the people of California followed their State Constitutional process and voted against same sex marriage with Prop 8. She never represented the people of Californa and their lawful prop process at any court but other lawyers did. The prop was challenged in several Courts and found legal and lawful, except for the 9th Circuit that said it was unconstitutional (still trying to figure that one out). The case then went to the Supreme Court and she refused to represent the people of California in court because SHE didn't support the proposition (the people of Calfornai did) and the Justices ruled that since she would not defend the prop, or the process, that the lawyers who tried were told that they did not have standing to represent California. So the proposition of the Californa voters was overturned and the 9th Circuit ruling, as the last one, stood. As the Attorney General of California she had the sworn duty and responsibility to represent the State, these responsibilities of office were ignored by her because she herself didn't support marriage as we knew it or the rights of the people of California. She was derelict in her sworn duties as AG and her feet were never held to the fire for this dereliction of duty. I am sure she will be derelict in her duties as a Senator. She is a not an American who takes her oath of offce seriously, she is just another Democrat that holds to double standards and not the rule of law. We just voted out the legal double standards and disregard for the rule of law we lived with for 8 years.
Loraine Colley Weaver(11 likes)Irrelevant questions which have miniscule roles within the CIA.  Horse & Pony show for constituents.
@henry(11 likes)Ms Harris is carring on a long tradition of California representative to Washington DC. Maxine Waters and Diane Feinstein who also had the most rediculous questions and statements. You will never be able to change a socialist.