AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate confirmation isn’t expected to go as smoothly for President Donald Trump’s new selections for secretary of state and CIA director as they did last year.

Senate Democrats – and some top Republicans – are slow-walking the process amid fresh questions over the Trump administration’s stance toward Russia and the CIA’s dark history of torture.

Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touched off a confirmation battle that will play out ahead of midterm elections, which determine party control of Congress.

Trump’s pick to replace Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is expected to be asked about his loyalty to Trump and his approach toward Russia.

And Trump’s choice to replace Pompeo at the CIA, Gina Haspel, is likely to be asked about her role in the CIA’s interrogation program.