(CN) — The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state Thursday by one of the slimmest margins in recent history.
The outgoing CIA director secured support from 57 senators after a handful of Democrats facing difficult reelection challenges joined their GOP in backing him.
Forty-two senators voted no and one senator absent.
In a written statement released by the White House, President Donald Trump said, “I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as our country’s top diplomat.
“Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history. He will always put the interests of America first. He has my trust. He has my support. Today, he has my congratulations on becoming America’s 70th Secretary of State,” the president said.
Every past nominee since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes, with the exception of Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. He was confirmed last year by a vote of 56-43.
Pompeo is a former Republican congressman from Kansas, has been deeply engaged in the administration’s efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang for direct talks.
He is expected to be sworn in almost immediately.