Very few nominations have proceeded without approval from committees, but chamber rules make it possible that the full Senate can still vote on Pompeo's confirmation should he receive an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation at all. "And I'm here to tell you that he did exactly that".
Pompeo went into Thursday's hearing facing an uphill battle in many respects. But many Democrats on the panel said they are concerned he might be missing a critical attribute for the job: a willingness to stand up to Trump when the situation requires it.
Pompeo's comments came during an exchange with Sen. Pompeo will be asked about his plans to position the United States so it can be at the table for peace talks aiming to rebuild the shattered country. During his confirmation hearing, the Central Intelligence Agency director also refused to answer a question on homosexuality. But the nominee stumbled - badly - under a cleverly prepared series of questions from the New Jersey Democrat. On Monday, Trump told reporters, "Hopefully we'll be able to make a deal on the de-nuking".
"Will you be working from crisis to crisis?"
But Pompeo suggested his closeness to the president would be an asset, not a liability.
Mindful of Tillerson's reputation as a disengaged leader whose failure to fill critical positions at State alarmed lawmakers, Pompeo acknowledges he has heard firsthand from U.S. diplomats about "how demoralizing it is to have so many vacancies and, frankly, not to feel relevant".
"Let me be clear, members of this Committee expect every Secretary of State to champion the department", Menendez says in his opening statement, which was released in advance.
Outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo confirmed Thursday that he has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian election interference. "I don't recall what he asked me that day precisely", Pompeo said.
But one senator asked whether Mr Pompeo would be a "yes man", catering to the president's "worst instincts".
An avowed opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo said he'd work immediately if confirmed to "fix" the agreement that Trump has threatened to abandon if it's not strengthened.
"As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system", Pompeo said. Cory Booker grilled the nominee about his views on Muslims.
I want to fix this deal; that's the objective.
He said the administration has responsibility to prevent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un being able threaten the USA with a nuclear weapon. "Yes, I can imagine times when America would need to take a response that moved past diplomacy", Pompeo said.
It seemed as though Pompeo was looking for a way to absolve Trump, and he offered three of them at the same time without squaring them with one another. Thursday was no exception. Do you believe gay sex is a perversion, 'cause it's what you said here in one of your speeches. Booker asked. "Yes or no, sir?"
But Pompeo wouldn't say what he spoke about with Mueller's team. He said Mueller's team requested an interview and "I cooperated". Some of the things you've said here today, I could actually be supportive of.
The Senate is widely expected to confirm Mr Pompeo.