Mike Pompeo, the longest-serving member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet of national security, is also his strongest advocate – a tactic that has helped keep him in power for almost four years, although this loyalty sometimes leaves him alone on the battlefield.
Pompeo played the role on Thursday as the Foreign Minister danced around defending Trump’s tweet about moving on Election Day in November this year, as “universal voting by e-mail” threatens to become “INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history”. President. he said.
During a Senate testimony, Pompeo warned that a “full e-mail program” was a “measure of risk.”;
“I saw it in my home state of Kansas,” he continued. “Changing the voting rules to get closer to the election is a difficult task.”
Pompeo, who was later pushed by Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., On Trump’s proposal to change the election from November 3, said he would “not make a legal verdict this morning” – instead postponing the Department of Justice and others to “Made this legal decision”.
“It should happen legally,” Pompeo added.
However, Kaine went back: There is no way for the president to legally change election day, as it is set by Congress, with the 1845 statute still in force.
“I don’t think it’s such a difficult question or one that should lead someone in the fourth place in a row to be president of the United States,” the former Democratic vice president was added, stressing that Pompeo was senior graduate of Harvard Law School.
Pompeo tried to jump in, but Kaine moved on to another topic.
For the secretary and other GOP leaders, it was the president’s joint defense that led to them avoiding the alienation or annoyance of the boss, without necessarily endorsing his idea.
Remarkably, almost no fourth Republican did the same on Thursday.
The highest Republicans in the House and Senate rejected the idea. R-California, head of the House of Minorities Kevin McCarthy, said: “We should go further,” while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said: “Never in the history of the country, through wars, the Depression and the Civil War, if we never had a federally scheduled election in time and we will find a way to do it again on November 3rd. ‘ ”
Pompey was so attached to Trump, rarely, if ever, breaking with him, although he did not personally agree on an issue, such as Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria or not retaliate for Iran for withdrawing an American robot.
This strategy has kept him much longer than former colleagues, such as Defense Ministers James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan, national security advisers McMaster and John Bolton, and, of course, his predecessor, Rex Tillerson.
Critics such as Senator Bob Menendez, the Senate’s top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, also expressed the closeness as a political strategy for Pompea’s personal ambitions, accusing him of pursuing US foreign policy for domestic political purposes.
While some said Pompeo was considering fleeing the Senate in Kansas, he refused to participate in the race. But he was more open to his presidential ambitions, and last year he told business leaders at the Economic Club, “I wouldn’t think of anything for America.”
But walking this tightrope has put Pompea in a tight position several times, instead trying to bulldoze through accusations of hypocrisy or questions about confusing policy changes.
He spent the weeks pushing the administration’s efforts to “complete, verifiably and irreversibly denuclearize North Korea,” only to address issues related to the agreement between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that did not agree to this goal; he dismissed them as “offensive and ridiculous and honestly ridiculous.”
As a staunch defender of Iran, Pompeo has repeatedly cited several changes to the Iranian government before any meeting of Trump with Iranian leaders. But before the UN General Assembly in September last year in New York, he said there were “no preconditions” for a “possible meeting with President Hassan Rouhan” – only for Trump, who would tweet days later, he would not meet “No Conditions”. ‘ ”
Amid a coronavirus pandemic, he offered US contributions to the World Health Organization on March 31 as a key to “protecting Americans and keeping us safe,” but just weeks later he and Trump began firing at the WHO as catastrophic and finally announced that the United States would withdraw from a UN agency. .
The maneuver was again available on Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Trump said “the toughest administration in Russia ever” pointed to several policies to push the Kremlin. On Tuesday, however, he asked Trump’s comments that he had never said that Russia would offer a reward to the Taliban to kill US troops. Pompeo danced again.
“I always leave to the president what he wants to say to other leaders,” he said.
Pompeo threw Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Germany as “threatening” to Moscow. When he pressed the Kremlin spokesman, who welcomed him earlier that day, he did not answer and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H., continued.
Kaine used the same tactics to prevent Pompey from responding on election day by turning to former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani had disgusted before being expelled.
After refusing to praise the veteran ambassador, Pompeo paired up with Kaine over Giuliani’s campaign against her. When the secretary smiled and laughed at times, Kaine accused him of considering the problem “just a big joke.” I mean, hey, look at you, smile and laugh and stupid. ”
This time, Pompeo got the last word: “I don’t think it’s foolish for the United States Department of State to understand that every ambassador, every political agent, knows that if the President of the United States finds out he doesn’t trust you. , the president has the right to terminate them. It’s so easy. It includes me. ‘ “