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CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Conservative groups and Republican foreign policy leaders are using Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un to target red-state Democrats who are wavering on supporting Pompeo's confirmation as Secretary of State.

What they're saying: These groups argue that Pompeo's North Korea visit is a game changer, and that expediting his confirmation process is a major national security interest. They'll also argue that in rejecting Pompeo, who has already negotiated on behalf of the president for a planned meeting of the two leaders, these vulnerable senators are playing partisan politics instead of doing their job to protect the American people.

Who they're targeting: Red-state Senate Democrats such as Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Bob Casey (Pa.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).

  • Between the lines: Conservative groups know that these red-state Democrats are exceptionally vulnerable ahead of the midterm elections, and voting against confirming Pompeo for State could further jeopardize their standing with Republican voters.

Who's behind the campaign:

  • Former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lester Munson, has released a statement saying the Senate should use Pompeo's trip as evidence that he's qualified for the position.
  • Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, wrote on Twitter: "Mike Pompeo is already helping President Trump negotiate denuclearization of North Korea. Senate Dems should confirm him immediately as Secretary of State."
  • Ken Blackwell, who headed Domestic Policy for Trump Transition, said on Twitter: "Now is not the time to play games. Mike Pompeo is doing vital work on behalf of the president working to de-nuke North Korea. He deserves your support as SoS."
  • Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, on Twitter: "News that Mike Pompeo is already helping @POTUS negotiate peace for the Korean peninsula shows he has the trust & confidence of Pres. Trump! .... [Senate Democrats] should do the right thing & vote to #ConfirmPompeo!"
  • Lt. General Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under George W. Bush, on Twitter: "#ConfirmMikePompeo! He is already demonstrating diplomacy and leadership that will continue to help the #President revitalize America’s position as leader of the free world."

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

Updated 13 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.