Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s longest-serving member of the National Security Cabinet, is also his fiercest defender, a tactic that has helped him maintain power in the administration for nearly four years, even if that loyalty sometimes leaves him alone. on the battlefield.
Pompeo played the role again on Thursday when the secretary of state danced defending Trump’s tweet about moving November election day as the “universal postal vote” threatens to become “the most tactless and fraudulent election in history.” claimed.
During Senate testimony, Pompeo warned that the “email voting program” presents a “level of risk.”;
“I saw it in my home state of Kansas,” he continued. “Changing the voting rules in the run-up to the election is a difficult task.”
Later, Washington-based Elder Tim Kaine about Trump’s proposal to replace the election on November 3, Pompeo said he “does not intend to make a legal decision on the flight this morning” and instead adopts that legal decision. self-determination ’.
“It should happen legally,” Pompeo added.
But Kaine retorted: The president has no way to legally change election day because it is set by Congress, still in effect in 1845. Articles of Association.
“I don’t think it’s such a difficult issue or one that should lead to a dichotomy for every fourth consecutive U.S. president,” the former Democratic presidential candidate added, stressing Pompeo is a top graduate. of Harvard Law School.
Pompeo tried to jump in, but Kaine moved on to another topic.
For the secretary and other VV leaders, it was a general defense of the president in an effort to avoid annoying or upset the boss, not necessarily supporting his idea.
Surprisingly, almost no other Republican did the same on Thursday.
The highest Republicans in the House and Senate both rejected the idea. Home minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Said, “We should go ahead,” and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said, “Never in the country’s history through wars, depressions, and civil wars, has there ever been a by holding scheduled elections at the federal level in a timely manner, and we will find a way to do so as early as November 3 this year. ”
Pompeo has dealt so closely with Trump, rarely or ever interrupting him even when he personally disagrees on an issue such as Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria or not answer to Iran for shooting the U.S. drone.
This strategy has held him for much longer than his former counterparts, such as defense secretaries James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan, national security advisers HR McMaster and John Bolton, and, of course, his predecessor Rex Tillerson.
But critics such as old Bob Menendez, a senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have raised that proximity as a political strategy for Pompeo’s personal aspirations, accusing him of raising U.S. domestic policy for domestic political purposes.
Although some rumors said Pompeo was considering running for the Senate in Kansas, he refused to compete because June 1 had now passed. But he was more open about his president’s ambitions when he told Economic Club business executives last year, “I don’t think there’s anything I can do for America.”
But walking on that tightrope, Pompeo has repeatedly found himself in a tough position, instead of trying to bulldoze on allegations of hypocrisy or questions about confusing policy changes.
He spent weeks affirming pressure from the administration on the “complete, verifiable and irreversible destruction of North Korea’s nuclear energy” to only question the agreement between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which failed to agree to that goal; he dismissed them as “offensive, funny, and sincerely ridiculous.”
Prior to any meeting between Trump and Iranian leaders, Pompeo, under the guise of Iran, listed several changes by the Iranian government several times. But ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York last September, he said there were “no preconditions” for a possible meeting with President Hassan Rouhani – just for Trump to tweet days later would not meet “No conditions.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, he was released on 31 March. He mentioned America’s contribution to the World Health Organization as the most important thing to “protect Americans and protect us,” but just weeks later he and Trump began to blow up the WHO as devastating and eventually announced that the United States would withdraw from the UN agency.
That maneuver reappeared on Thursday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said Trump was in charge of “Russia’s toughest administration ever”, citing several policies aimed at putting pressure on the Kremlin. But when asked about Trump’s comments on Tuesday that he had never raised the issue of Russia, offering the Taliban a settlement to kill U.S. troops, Pompeo danced again.
“I always leave the president what he wants to say to other leaders,” he said.
Pompe described Trump’s withdrawal from Germany as a “threat” to Moscow. After pressing a Kremlin representative who greeted him that day, he did not respond, and Elder Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H., moved on.
Kaine used the same tactics to stop Pompeo’s response on election day by addressing former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was disappointed by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani before his removal.
Refusing to praise the veteran ambassador, Pompeo, along with Kaine, sparked a debate against Giuliani’s campaign against her. When the secretary smiled and sometimes smiled, Kaine accused him of treating the matter as “just a big joke. I mean, hello, look at you, smiling, laughing and calling it stupid. ”
This time, Pompeo uttered the last word: “I don’t think it’s stupid for the U.S. State Department to understand that every ambassador, every political appointee knows that if the U.S. president finds that they lack confidence in you, the president has the right to terminate them. It’s that simple. That includes me. “