WASHINGTON (CNN) — Donald Trump has asked Rep. Mike Pompeo to be his CIA director and the Kansas congressman has accepted the job, the President-elect’s transition team announced Friday.
Pompeo backed Sen. Marco Rubio in the primary and criticized Trump from the right, but later joined a group of House members backing Trump.
The Kansas Republican becomes the first member of the House tapped by Trump, although Republican Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Tom Price both met with the President-elect this week and are being mentioned for other Cabinet positions. The last sitting congressman named to head the CIA, when he took over the agency for President George W. Bush.
Pompeo met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the leader of Trump’s transition, at the Capitol Thursday. He declined to comment on their meeting as he left.
Pompeo built a reputation as a stalwart conservative in just two terms in the House — opposing Obamacare, supporting the federal government shutdown and serving as a member of the House panel that investigated the Benghazi attack. He staked a tougher line on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than some other Republicans. Pompeo was one of a handful of conservatives who argued House Benghazi committee chairman Trey Gowdy did not go far enough in his report on Clinton earlier this year.
Before joining Congress, Pompeo graduated first in his class from the US Military Academy at West Point. Pompeo was a classmate of Sen. Ted Cruz’s at Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review — although he declined to support Cruz in the Republican primaries.
The selection of Pompeo rounds out a trio of national security picks Trump has made — including Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for national security advisor that were announced Friday.