REUTERS

A U.S. Senate committee approved the nomination of President Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Monday after a Republican senator who had been opposed threw his support behind the CIA director in the face of party pressure.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination on a party-line vote, with all 11 Republicans backing him, nine Democrats opposed and one Democrat, Chris Coons, voting "present" because one Republican was at a funeral out of town, Reuters wrote.

Read alsoCIA Director Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there were enough votes in the full Senate to confirm Pompeo this week. That would allow Pompeo to attend a NATO summit on Friday.

Pompeo became one of Trump's closest advisers during his 15 months as CIA director. He most recently has been deeply involved in preparations for Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including meeting with him three weeks ago.

While many Democrats consider Pompeo too hawkish and worry about past harsh statements on homosexuality and Islam, he has the support of at least three Democratic senators not on the committee who are running for re-election in states Trump won easily in 2016. That all but assures Pompeo will be confirmed.