By MARK MAZZETTI and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump has selected Rep. Mike Pompeo, a hawkish Republican from Kansas and a former Army officer, to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, according to officials close to Trump’s transition team.
Pompeo, who has served for three terms in Congress and is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, gained prominence for his role in the congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. He was a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton on the committee.
If confirmed by the Senate, Pompeo would take control of a spy agency that has been remade in the years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with a relentless focus on manhunts, counterterrorism and targeted killing operations.
Over the past year, the CIA has undergone a bureaucratic reorganization under the current director, John O. Brennan, an effort Pompeo would decide whether he wants to continue.
According to his congressional website, Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point and “served as an officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
After leaving the military, Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School and returned to Kansas, where he went into business and became president of Sentry International, which his website describes as an “equipment manufacturing, distribution and service company.”
He has close ties to Wichita-based Koch Industries, whose political action committee contributed generously to his 2010 congressional bid and has supported him ever since.