Mike Pompeo failed to mention his connections with a company owned by the Chinese government, when asked last year during his confirmation as head of the CIA.
Pompeo, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump for the position of Secretary of State after the ousting of Rex Tillerson, will attend the Senate confirmation hearing on Apr. 12, 2018.
According to a report by McClatchy, Pompeo’s Kansas business was involved with a Chinese-government company. However, when asked during his CIA confirmation hearing, he clearly denied conducting any business with “a foreign government or any entity controlled by a foreign government.”
CIA spokesman said Pompeo would have “no reason” to know about the many “layers” of the company, debunking reports he knowingly omitted his company’s business with the Chinese company.
"Mr. Pompeo was president of an American company in Kansas that sold products made in many different countries, Canada and China to name just two. In fact, the paper clips the company used were from Taiwan. He would have no reason to know details on the layers of companies that may or may not have had ownership interests in each overseas company that supplied products to his Kansas company," a CIA spokesman told McClatchy.
However, previous reports suggest Pompeo was, in fact, aware of the company’s link to China.
In 2010, when Pompeo was running for the 4th Congressional district, he reportedly told the Wichita Eagle, his company provided jobs to people in America “by importing oilfield equipment from China.” He also said the company sells high-pressure pumps made by Chinese firm SJ Petro.
Pompeo was also listed as the owner of the company, SJ Petro Firm Investment, for whom SJ Petro worked as a supplier, according to which Pompeo should have informed the CIA about his firm’s foreign dealings. SJ Petro is owned by Sinopec, Asia’s leading refiner, owned by the Chinese government.
It has not been determined whether Pompeo later informed the CIA about his company’s business with a foreign government, but failure to do so could prove problematic during the hearing. Pompeo would need at least one Democrat to vote for him, since Republican Rand Paul has already opposed to his nomination.
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