Mike Pompeo

Pompeo, at site of Obama’s address to Muslim world, rebukes his legacy: ‘Age of self-inflicted American shame is over’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday launched an astonishing rebuke of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the site of Obama’s famous speech to the Muslim world — declaring that “the age of self-inflicted American shame is over.” Pompeo delivered his remarks in Cairo, where Obama famously spoke in 2009 and promised a new beginning with Muslim and Arab countries. He was criticized by conservatives for placing too much blame on the U.S. for strife in the region. Pompeo, while not mentioning Obama by name, said that “it was here, in this city, another American stood before you” and “told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from ideology.” “He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East,” he said at the American University in Cairo. “He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed ‘a new beginning.’ The results of these misjudgments have been dire.” Pompeo said that under Obama, the U.S. abandoned its allies and was “timid” about asserting itself, that the U.S. “grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism,” and kept silent as Iranians tried to rise up against the regime in Tehran. He also criticized Obama-era policy for “wishful thinking [that] led us to look the other way” as Hezbollah built up its weaponry in Lebanon, and for doing nothing as Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people. He then took another swipe at the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — from which the U.S. withdrew last year. The U.S. has since re-imposed economic sanctions on the country, including on oil exports. “Our eagerness to address only Muslims, not nations, ignored the rich diversity of the Middle East, and frayed old bonds. It undermined the concept of the nation-state, the building block of international stability,” he said. “And our desire for peace at any cost led us to strike a deal with Iran, our common enemy.” But he promised his audience that the Trump administration was ushering in a new era of U.S. foreign policy. “The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real ‘new beginning,’” he said. His speech emphasized America as a force for good in the region. He cited accomplishments under Trump’s leadership — including the pushback of Islamic State, the withdrawal of more troops and personnel from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and building a coalition to push back against Iranian influence. “We have rediscovered our voice. We have rebuilt our relationships. We have rejected false overtures from enemies. And look at what we have accomplished together,” he said. Pompeo’s speech comes as part of a tour of the region, including Jordan and other Gulf nations, as he seeks to coordinate an anti-Iran strategy. It comes after a sudden decision from President Trump last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, leading to concern from some allies in the region about U.S. commitments. On Thursday, Pompeo appeared to attempt to assuage those fears by pledging U.S. commitment. “Our aim is to partner with our friends and vigorously oppose our enemies, because a strong, secure, and economically viable Middle East is in our national interest – and yours,” he said. “Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over.”

U.S. cancels 1950s treaty with Iran after international court rules against sanctions

The U.S. is pulling out of a 63-year-old friendship treaty with Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday, just hours after an international tribunal ruled the Trump administration must roll back some of the sanctions it has imposed on Tehran over its nuclear and missile programs. Mr. Pompeo appeared in the State Department briefing room to personally deliver the news, calling the termination of the 1955 agreement “overdue” and accusing Iran of abusing the International Court of Justice* in The Hague to undercut U.S. policy. Iran cited the 1955 agreement as the basis for arguing at the ICJ that curbs on humanitarian trade announced by the Trump administration after President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal this spring were illegal under international law. In a preliminary ruling, the court said that Washington must “remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from” the re-imposition of sanctions to the export to Iran of medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation. Mr. Pompeo noted that the court refused to grant Iran much more sweeping relief from U.S. sanctions that Tehran had demanded. He also said the U.S. sanctions policy already took into account exceptions for humanitarian transactions with Iran, and accused the regime in Tehran of spending money on military adventures abroad rather than on the needs of its own citizens. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif praised the court ruling on Twitter, calling it “another failure for sanctions-addicted” U.S. and a “victory for rule of law,” The Associated Press reported. Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, accused the Trump administration of acting “impetuously” in abrogating the treaty. “That treaty has proven immensely valuable to the United States historically, including in the judgment against Iran over the 1979 hostage crisis,” Mr. Abdi said in a statement. Mr. Pompeo said it remained to be seen what the practical effect of abrogating the 1955 “Amity Treaty” would be. He said Iran has been “ignoring” the agreement for a long time, and the ICJ ruling provided just one more reason for ending the accord.

Pompeo scolds CNN’s Jim Acosta for ‘ludicrous’ 25th Amendment question

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday scolded CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta for asking a “ludicrous” question about Cabinet members allegedly discussing invoking the 25th Amendment against President Trump. During a press briefing at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Mr. Acosta asked U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley if she ever heard of such discussions taking place inside the Trump administration. “I have never once been in the White House where that conversation has happened,” Mrs. Haley said. “I’m not aware of any Cabinet members that are even talking about that. It is completely and totally absurd. No one is questioning the president at all.” Mr. Pompeo added that he also had never heard any such discussion within the administration about invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows for a president to be removed by his own Cabinet under extraordinary circumstances. “I find the question ludicrous,” Mr. Pompeo said. “I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, whisper about it, joke about it in any way. I’ve been in a lot of meetings with a lot of senior officials from this government.” He also chided Mr. Acosta for claiming Mrs. Haley was the “only person” at the press conference that had been in the Trump administration “since the beginning.” “Fact check: I’ve been with the administration since the beginning, too,” Mr. Pompeo said. “That’s relevant. But I’ll add — no discussion with me about the 25th Amendment anywhere, either — so you can now report that two senior leaders have said that your question was ludicrous.” Their comments came three days after The New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Mr. Trump and enlisting other Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment against him — a report Mr. Rosenstein has denied. The report came on the heels of an op-ed published by The New York Times, written anonymously by someone claiming to be a senior administration official who alleged to be part of a “quiet resistance” actively working to thwart the president’s agenda.

Jim Acosta is such an annoying tool..  Kudos to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo (R) for making him look like the ass that he is.

Senate Confirms Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State

The Senate on Thursday voted to confirm CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state in a bipartisan 57-42 vote. In a departure from what has historically been a rubber stamp vote, the majority of Democrats voted against Pompeo. Only a half a dozen Democrats voted to confirm Pompeo, primarily from red states that overwhelmingly went for Trump in 2018 and who are facing tough reelection fights. Those Democrats included: Sens. Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Doug Jones (AL), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (WV), and Claire McCaskill (MO), and Bill Nelson (FL). A number of senior Democratic leaders had come out against Pompeo, threatening his confirmation early on. With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) initially in opposition and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recovering from brain cancer treatment, Republicans needed at least one Democratic vote. However, Paul reversed his opposition, after having several conversations with President Trump and Pompeo, saying his concerns over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were assuaged. After the vote, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate majority whip, blasted Democrats who voted against Pompeo and for delaying the confirmation of a number of Trump appointees. “The man has what it takes for the job. That’s why the no votes from our Democratic colleagues rang hollow,” he said after the vote. He said Democrats were attempting to “lash out at President Trump,” which he called “disappointing” and a “sad break from tradition.” “It’s a sorry continuation of the hyper-partisanship they’ve been engaging in,” he added, noting that one year ago, 14 Democrats and one Independent had voted to confirm Pompeo as CIA director. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has said he opposed Pompeo’s nomination based on his gay marriage views, despite his 2008 endorsement of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who had the same views.

Typical hypocrisy..  We’re very glad to hear that Mike Pompeo finally was confirmed by the Senate today!  The man graduated #1 in his class from West Point; NUMBER ONE!  And, that’s how his career started!  He then went on to become a cav officer in the Army, achieving the rank of Captain.  Then he went on to earn a law degree from Harvard, was a lawyer, small businessman, and then ran for Congress where he sat on an Intelligence committee, and most recently was the Director of the CIA.  That’s the kind of resume that is perfect for Secretary of State.  His views on gay marriage are entirely irrelevant to his new job.  And Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) knows it.  He was just grandstanding for his constituents in his quest to run for President.  What a tool..   Congrats to Mike Pompeo!

Pompeo: North Korea ‘Handful of Months’ Away from Threatening U.S. with Nuclear Weapons

Speaking at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) forum on the future of U.S. intelligence operations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned that North Korea could be a “handful of months” away from plausibly threatening the continental United States with nuclear weapons. Pompeo warned North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is advancing at a “very rapid clip.” He added that U.S. intelligence fears Kim would aggressively use nuclear weapons as a tool to conquer the entire Korean Peninsula. Pompeo repeated his recent warnings that “North Korea is ever closer to being able to hold America at risk,” but said the intelligence community is helping to hold them just shy of achieving their goals. “I said that was a handful of months,” he recalled. “I said the same thing several months before that. I want everyone to understand that we are working diligently to make sure that a year from now, I can still tell you they are several months away from having that capacity.” Later in his appearance, Pompeo clarified that he was not laying out a timeline where North Korea might be fielding nuclear missiles by the end of the summer, or anything quite so immediate. He said it was inappropriate to think in terms of timelines to landmark missile test launches. Instead, the real issue is reliability—“Can they reliably deliver the pain which Kim Jong-un wants to be able to deliver against the United States of America?” He explained: ” It’s one thing to be able to say, ‘Yes, it’s possible if everything went right, if the missile flew in the right direction, we could do it,’ as opposed to certainty. This is the core of deterrence theory. In the deterrence model, you have to be certain that what you aim to deliver will actually be successful. At the very least, you need to make sure your adversary believes that it is certain.” “That’s what Kim Jong-un is driving for. He is trying to put in our mind the reality that he can deliver that pain to the United States of America. Our mission is to make the day that he can do that as far off as possible,” Pompeo said. He disputed the commonly reported notion that the intelligence community was caught by surprise when North Korea’s nuclear program surged forward. “We’ll never get the week or the month right on something that’s this complicated, but we can get the direction of travel and the capacity for the rate of change right, and we did,” he insisted. During a question-and-answer session with AEI’s Marc Thiessen, Pompeo cautioned that he was not at liberty to divulge sensitive intelligence about North Korea, other than to say, “They have moved at a very rapid clip, make no mistake about it.” “They’re testing capacity has improved. The frequency that they have tests which are more materially successful has also improved, putting them ever closer to a place where Americans can be held at risk,” he said. Pompeo said the CIA believes Kim Jong-un to be a “rational actor,” and that his rational strategy is about more than achieving deterrence against conventional military action by the United States and its allies since the massive North Korean artillery threat to South Korean cities already provides such deterrence. Pompeo said the CIA believes that Kim wants “more than just regime preservation,” which is why the Trump administration is so determined to prevent him from achieving nuclear ICBM capability. They suspect Kim will not be content to become merely the latest authoritarian ruler sitting on an inventory of nuclear weapons he would never dare to use. Thiessen asked if Kim’s status as a “rational actor” meant limited military action to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program is possible since a rational state would not respond in a manner that guaranteed its own destruction. “I’m thrilled that you asked that. I’m equally happy not to answer,” Pompeo replied. “Let me say this, though: the American people should know we’re working to prepare a series of options to make sure that we can deliver a range of things, so the president will have the full suite of possibilities.” “We are in a much better place today than we were twelve months ago,” he said. “We are still suffering from having gaps. Part of that is not the intelligence community’s fault per se. These are difficult target sets. I’ll concede that at the outset. But it’s completely inadequate for the CIA to say, ‘Well, that’s a hard problem.’ Of course it’s a hard problem. That’s why you pay us.” He said the CIA’s top priorities in North Korea included analyzing its command structure, determining how sanctions affect various individuals and layers of North Korean society, and who might be helping the Kim regime mitigate the effects of sanctions.