In a private room in China's Great Hall of the People in November, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat with President Donald Trump and other US officials as their hosts delivered plates of wilted Caesar salad.
Menendez told reporters Tuesday that the State Department has lacked stability at a time when Trump's "bombast against diplomacy undermines the very essence of what our people can do overseas".
Republican Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he looked forward to supporting the nomination, saying she has "the right skill set, experience and judgment to lead one of our nation's most critical agencies".
"We're counting on the fact that he'll see it". After Mr Tillerson refused to issue an explicit denial of "morongate", Mr Trump suggested the two men took IQ tests-"and I can tell you who's going to win". When you look at the Iran deal; I think it's awful, I guess he thought it was OK. Notably, ambassadors to South Korea and Turkey have not been nominated, despite those countries' outsize role in negotiations with nuclear-armed North Korea and in the Syrian war, respectively.
Pompeo and Tillerson navigated different paths with Trump, too.
Rex Tillerson's departure adds to the long list of senior job vacancies at the top of the State Department, and Washington is preparing for the summit without several key diplomats in place.
Whatever the Senate might have wanted to focus on in April and May will now have to compete for time with a new priority thrust upon it by President Donald Trump.
"The United States is determined to leave the nuclear deal, and changes at the State Department were made with that goal in mind - or at least it was one of the reasons", Abbas Araghchi said in comments carried by state news agency ISNA.
But Trump also reportedly wasn't shy about expressing his irritation with Tillerson in private, in the West Wing, either.
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who remains in Arizona, noted that Pompeo committed to not allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to return to the use of certain harsh interrogation practices. As Trump mentioned Tuesday morning, Pompeo is much more skeptical of the Iran deal than Tillerson is.
The most important qualification for any secretary of state is the trust of the president.
The report in Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" that Tillerson had called the president an "f'.ing moron", didn't help. He now must face the Senate again and answer tough questions about his fitness for this position, establishing stability in the State Department and rebuilding our reputation overseas through diplomacy, not risky threats. However, the gravitas of Mattis in Trump's White House might maintain the Pentagon's veto on critical U.S. national security decisions.
Trump's impulsive decision to accept an invitation to meet Kim Jong Un by May raises the stakes there dramatically.
"I'm concerned", he continued.
But Pompeo has also gone against Trump on some issues.