The US Senate on Monday (23 January) confirmed Mike as President Donald Trump's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director.

Despite concerns he might expand surveillance or allow the use of torture, Pompeo has reached the number of votes required to be confirmed.

Pompeo's primary challenge as head of the CIA will be mending the relationship between Trump and the intelligence agency, after they repeatedly butted heads in the last few months.

The CIA has alleged that Trump was the benefactor of Russian meddling in the US election. In turn, Trump accused intelligence officials of behaving like Nazis in their attempts to smear him.

Michael Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA, told the Washington Post that he has "come to admire" Pompeo after the two engaged in a series of conversations since Pompeo was tapped for the job.

Morell said: "Pompeo has two key challenges: winning over a workforce a bit skeptical of him ... and making the CIA's voice heard at the Trump White House.

"I know Pompeo, and he will succeed at the first challenge. The second will be the defining issue of his tenure as director."

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo vowed he would defy Trump if asked to continue the torture techniques previously used against alleged terrorists.

Pompeo, 53, was a notable member of the Tea Party in Congress and is known for his extreme positions.

He has previously suggested that the mere use of encryption could be an indicator that the user may be a violent extremist.

He has also taken a particularly stern stance on dealing with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, arguing he should be executed rather than pardoned.

Also on 23 January, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson moved one step closer to being confirmed as the new secretary of state after the senate foreign relations committee voted to approve his nomination.

Trump's CIA director pick thinks using encryption 'a red flag', calls for Snowden's execution
Privacy advocates and security experts have raised concerns about Mike Pompeo, who is a strong advocate for mass surveillance and restricting encryption Win McNamee/Getty Images