Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA is expected to face fierce questions about the president-elect’s outspoken criticism of intelligence officials at his confirmation hearing on Thursday.
Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kan.) testimony will come under the shadow of a supercharged feud between Trump and the intelligence community, which has concluded that Moscow sought to influence the presidential election in his favor.
Every answer and question will be watched closely by Team Trump, and also by the CIA.
“Every TV set at Langley will be turned on during his confirmation hearings,” former CIA Director Michael Hayden said in a recent op-ed
Trump ripped the intelligence community at a Wednesday press conference, suggesting without evidence that it was responsible for the leak of a dossier published by Buzzfeed News composed of allegations against Trump and his associates. He also appeared to blame the intelligence community for a separate CNN report that said he had been brief about reports that Russian agents claimed to have personal and business information they could use against them.
Trump said none of the information should have been reported and compared the disclosure to “something that Nazi Germany would have done.”
Trump has previously rankled intelligence officials by casting doubt on their suspicions of Russian involvement in the election.