Tag Archives: State Department

Pompeo ‘didn’t know’ IG was examining him? Seriously?

There are claims that this was for retaliation, for some investigation that the inspector general’s office here was engaged in. Patently false. I have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the inspector general’s office.

The above statement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said he recommended that Donald John “The Idiot in Chief” Trump fire inspector general Steve Linick. He said he should have had Linick fired a long time ago.

Why? Because, according to Pompeo, Linick was doing a lousy job and that he — Pompeo — had lost “confidence” in him.

So now the nation’s top diplomat wants us to believe that he had no idea that Linick was looking into alleged abuses of his office relating to duties being performed for members of the Pompeo family, or that the secretary of state was engaging in a reportedly shady arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

This is the secretary of state! The man’s got his fingers on all sorts of national security buttons. He wants us to believe he didn’t know what the IG — who was assigned specifically to work within the State Department — was doing?

Good grief! Pompeo must think we’re all a bunch of rubes out here. Or he is as much of a pathological liar as the man to whom he answers, Donald Trump.

I tend to believe it’s the latter.

Trump is ‘filling the swamp’

Donald John “Stable Genius in Chief” Trump has just fired the fourth inspector general since he was cleared of charges brought during his impeachment by the House of Representatives.

The victim this time is Steve Linick, the IG in charge of keeping tabs on the State Department’s conduct.

Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington, D.C. His latest ad hominem attack on government accountability suggests to me that he instead is filling the swamp with even more corruption.

Donald Trump is out of fu**ing control. He is unhinged.

When reporters asked Trump why he canned Linick, he deferred to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who he said asked the president to let the IG go. Then said, “Yeah, I don’t know him at all. I never even heard of him.” 

What the … hell? 

Trump fired a guy he said he didn’t know. For what reason? He said Pompeo had “lost confidence” in Linick. Then he said he has the authority to fire anyone he wants. Sure he does. I get that. But … why? Isn’t there some accountability due? Of course there is!

Linick, I should add, was appointed inspector general at State by the Obama administration. So this firing looks like yet another vestige of Trump’s immediate predecessor he wants excised by his administration.

I also should add that Linick reportedly was examining reports that Pompeo was allegedly using his office for personal use, that he reportedly was having government employees running errands for Mrs. Pompeo and taking the couple’s pooch out for walks in the park.

Republican U.S. senators are seeking an explanation from Trump on why he is gutting so many department inspectors general operations. I haven’t heard — at least not yet — any expressions of outrage from the GOP side of the senatorial aisle. There certainly should be demands that Trump come clean.

Donald Trump is exhibiting dangerous symptoms of megalomania.

This is no way for a ‘diplomat’ to conduct himself

Imagine a secretary of state working for, say, Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, or George H.W. Bush doing the things that Mike Pompeo reportedly did to a National Public Radio reporter.

Mary Louise Kelly sought to get Pompeo to explain why he didn’t defend former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after Donald Trump ordered her fired. He said he has “defended everyone” in the State Department. Kelly persisted, asking him to explain when he has said anything in defense of Yovanovitch. Pompeo stuck to his previous answer.

Then, according to Kelly, he summoned her into his office and launched into an f-bomb-laced tirade against her, told her to find Ukraine on a plain map, with no countries identified … which she did.

Then he issued a statement blasting NPR and the so-called “fake news” media.

Imagine that kind of thing coming from, oh, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright or, for that matter, Rex Tillerson … Trump’s initial secretary of state.

Pompeo serves as the nation’s top diplomat, a post that by definition operates on a formula of dignity and decorum.

This man is behaving instead just like the crass individual who at this moment is masquerading as the nation’s current president.

A ‘get-Hillary’ probe comes to an end

The U.S. Department of Justice is wrapping up its years-long examination into alleged corruption involving Hillary Rodham Clinton, her work for the Clinton Foundation, with the State Department and God knows what else.

It has come up empty. Nothing of consequence. It’s over, man!

Imagine that, if you can.

Donald Trump has been yammering incessantly about Hillary Clinton since before he ran against her for president in 2016. He defeated her in that campaign. He hasn’t stopped bringing her name to our attention.

The end of the investigation, under normal circumstances and involving normal politicians, ought to spell the end of “Lock her up!” chants at Trump rallies. Something tells me we are not likely to be free of that tiresome, idiotic and borderline defamatory rallying cry.

After all, we’re talking about Donald Trump, the man who needs a foil against whom he can campaign.

However, the Justice Department’s conclusion that it came up empty is good enough for me.

Will he resign or stay … and get pummeled?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly wants to serve in the U.S. Senate. How does he do that if he is serving in the Donald Trump administration? Obviously, he cannot.

He also is being dragged feet first into the impeachment inquiry sausage grinder that has cranked up in the House of Representatives.

Pompeo hails from Kansas. He once served in the House from that state. Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring at the end of 2020. Pompeo wants to succeed him.

Does he stay on at State or does he enter the campaign from Kansas? He ought to run for the Senate. I don’t believe he needs to be elected from that state, given that I believe he has disserved his fellow diplomats at State. How? By not standing behind one of his more stellar ambassadors, Marie Yovanovitch, who has been smeared by Donald Trump, who fired her from her post as ambassador to Ukraine.

The impeachment inquiry is getting messy for Pompeo. He now has been revealed to have been in on that phone call Trump made to Ukraine’s president in which he asked for a favor in return for weapons sent to Ukraine to use against rebels backed by Russia.

Yahoo.com reported that Pompeo wants out, that he wants to run for the Senate. The State Department denies it … naturally!

Since the denial comes from the Trump administration, I cannot accept it at face value.

I tend to believe the reports that Donald Trump is going to look for the third secretary of state who is willing to endure the misery the president seems all too willing to inflict on those he selects to serve.

Secretary of state: derelict in his duty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought a lot of heft to his post as the nation’s top diplomat: top of his class at West Point; active-duty Army service; member of Congress; CIA director.

It’s the West Point chapter in his life that gives me concern, though, but not because I intend to disparage his academic record at the nation’s Military Academy.

Pompeo has violated a fundamental tenet of service in the military. One of the individuals under his command as secretary of state, former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, has seen her record smeared by the president of the United States.

Did the secretary of state stand up for her? Did he have her back? Has he vouched for her honor and affirmed that she isn’t “bad news,” as Trump has described her? Has he affirmed his support for her gallant service to the country over he past three decades? No. He has allowed the president to run roughshod over her.

Yovanovitch testified this past week before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, which is overseeing the impeachment inquiry process launched against the president. While she was in the middle of her testimony, Trump decided to fire off a Twitter message that denigrated her service and — in the minds of many observers — contained a threat to her and others who might be so inclined to cooperate with House congressional questioners.

Why in the world has the nation’s top diplomat, the secretary of state, allowed this defamation to continue against one of the individuals under his command? Secretary of State Pompeo has been a profile in cowardice.

The president says he is entitled to express himself. Actually, what Donald Trump doesn’t grasp is the gravity of any statement he makes as the nation’s chief executive, as its head of state. Mike Pompeo surely should understand what has gone over the president’s head and he surely should have stood foursquare behind a highly honored and decorated diplomat, such as Marie Yovanovitch.

He didn’t. Pompeo choked. He disgraced himself as well as the long-standing tradition he brought to his high office.

Mike Pompeo has violated a West Point tenet?

Oh, my goodness. The plot is getting thicker by the hour.

This observation comes from a friend of mine, who posted this item on social media: Pompeo is a graduate of West Point. The United States Military Academy. One of the most important values at West Point is this: “A cadet will not lie or tolerate those who do.”
Pompeo is a liar.

The Wall Street Journal, hardly a left-wing publication, has reported that State Department officials say that the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, listened in on the phone call that Donald Trump had with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zellenskiy, in which Trump asked his counterpart for help in getting re-elected in 2020.

Except that Pompeo told journalists that he didn’t know anything about the phone call.

Hmm. Who’s telling the truth? The Wall Street Journal is a first-rate publication with first-rate political reporters. I’ll go with what the WSJ is reporting.

This story is growing more legs than a monster centipede.

Trump’s conversation with Zellenskiy wasn’t “perfect,” as Trump has called it. It appears to many of us that the president broke faith with the oath he took by asking for help from a foreign government to help his political fortunes. Moreover, he reportedly withheld appropriated money that Congress had approved to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggressors until it agreed to “play ball” with the U.S. president and members of his Cabinet.

Donald Trump has been outed, or so it is becoming clearer, by a whistleblower whose report has helped accelerate the movement toward an impeachment vote by the House of Representatives.

Now we hear that the secretary of state has been revealed to be as blatant and bald-faced a liar as the man who nominated him to be our nation’s top diplomat.

Utterly despicable.

What is Jared doing to our foreign policy?

One of Donald Trump’s “best people” is being heard once again.

He is former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who went from hero to zero in less than two years. Trump hired him as the nation’s top diplomat, heaping praise on the former ExxonMobil CEO as a man of unsurpassed brilliance; he booted him out, saying he was dumb as a stump.

But the former secretary of state is being heard again. He is telling interviewers about how the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — a young man with zero diplomatic experience — pushed Tillerson aside to conduct foreign policy … in the Middle East, of all places!

Tillerson met with the House Foreign Relations Committee recently and gave a scathing report on working within the Trump White House. According to the Daily Beast: “One of the challenges I think that everyone had… to learn to deal with was the role, the unique situation with the president’s son-in-law [Kushner] and daughter [Ivanka] being part of the White House advisory team,” Tillerson said, according to the transcript The Daily Beast obtained. “There was not a real clear understanding of the role, responsibilities, authorities… which made it challenging for everyone, I think, in terms of how to deal with activities that might be undertaken by others that were not defined within the national-security process itself.”

I want to stress with all the energy I can muster that Jared Kushner has no business conducting sensitive negotiations with Middle East heads of government and heads of state. He is as totally unqualified to negotiate with anyone in that region as the president is to hold the office to which he was elected. Yet the president has given this hanger-on the responsibility of hammering out a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East?

Let’s face it, Rex Tillerson was right when he called Trump a “fu**ing moron,” an epithet he never has denied hurling in the president’s direction.

And the president has placed an empty suit in charge of one of the most challenging diplomatic tasks anywhere on Earth.

Amazing.

‘Dumb as a rock’ Tillerson isn’t so dumb

This is the kind of story that makes me shake my head in utter disbelief.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin was better prepared than Donald Trump for his 2017 meeting with the president, which prompted this response from the Leader of the Free World:

“Rex Tillerson, a man who is ‘dumb as a rock’ and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing.”

Ah, yes. The president of the United States is at his “finest” when he gets his Twitter digits limbered up.

However, this does beg the question: If the president who pledged to surround himself with the “best people” was going to hire a secretary of state, why would he select someone who is “totally ill prepared and ill equipped” to do the job of representing U.S. foreign policy interests?

Tillerson wouldn’t have been my first choice as secretary of state. However, he is far from being “dumb as a rock.”

He also was right when he described the president as a “moron.”

The cascade continues

I’ll admit to not knowing anything about Brett McGurk . . . until today.

That’s when I learned that our nation’s leading envoy in the fight to eradicate the Islamic State has decided to quit early. He is angry with Donald J. Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria, to abandon the fight against ISIS in that country. It was a decision that prompted Defense Secretary James Mattis to quit.

Now it’s McGurk who’s hitting the road.

This is a big deal, too.

McGurk had planned to leave in February, but decided to submit his resignation to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

McGurk joined the George W. Bush administration and stayed on through the Obama administration, where he was appointed to his current post.

Two years into the Trump administration, McGurk seems to have had enough.

As NBC News reported: Trump’s decision left McGurk flat-footed, unable to explain to U.S. allies who have been fighting ISIS with the United States why they were neither consulted nor informed in advance. Nor have senior Trump administration officials been able to tell allies and Kurdish forces whether U.S. air strikes will continue in Syria to support the mission against ISIS.

Mattis was quite clear in his resignation letter that part of where he differed with Trump is in the treatment of our allies. They cannot trust us to be faithful to our pledges and commitments.

Neither can key administration operatives who are charged with doing the most serious work possible. In McGurk’s case, it is the task of working with allies in the fight to defeat the monstrous terrorists known as the Islamic State.

The chaos is showing signs of taking a terrible toll on U.S. influence in a world that has grown accustomed to what we once touted as our national indispensability.

No longer can we make that make assertion.