On Thursday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismantled President Joe Biden’s claim that “America is back” under his administration when it comes to foreign policy. Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s foreign policy accomplishments and noted the Obama administration’s failures, insisting that America cannot afford eight more years of Obama-style failure.
“‘Back.’ Does he mean back to when ISIS controlled a caliphate in Syria that was the size of Britain? I hope not. President Trump and our team took that down,” Pompeo told Fox News Primetime host Trey Gowdy, his former colleague in the House of Representatives.
“When he says ‘back,’ when ‘America is back,’ does he mean back to letting China walk all over us, destroying millions of jobs in places like Kansas and South Carolina, that we know so well, Trey? I hope that’s not what he means by back,” Pompeo quipped. “He talked about allies, when he said go ‘back,’ does he mean back to dissing allies and friends like Israel and treating the terrorists in Iran like friends by giving them $150 billion in pallets of cash?”
“I don’t think the American people can afford to go back to eight more years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy,” the former secretary of State said. “I hope they’ll move forward with a foreign policy look much more like our America-first foreign policy.”
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Pompeo condemned the horrific abuses of the Chinese Communist Party and insisted that the Biden administration must fight China as vigorously as the Trump administration did.
“China is behaving in a way that we haven’t seen any nation behave since the 1930s,” he said. “We talk about ‘never again.’ And yet on our watch, on our time, we’re watching the Chinese Communist Party engage in those exact same kind of behaviors.” Pompeo noted that in the final days of the Trump administration, he issued a determination that the Chinese Communist Party was engaging in genocide, effectively another Holocaust.
Gowdy asked Pompeo about the false notion that the Trump administration had gone soft on Russia and allowed the Russian Federation to interfere in U.S. elections.
“If you will remember, Trey, the interference that I think he’s referring to took place when he was the vice president of the United States” in the 2016 election, Pompeo noted. “We worked hard to prevent Russia from interfering in our election. I’m proud of the work we did to push back against Russia. Remember, they took Crimea during the Obama administration.”
The Trump administration did crack down on Russia. In fact, former Obama officials have warned about Trump’s supposedly overly aggressive sanctions. While Trump was friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his administration actually armed Ukrainians fighting against Russia, championed U.S. energy policies that weakened Russia’s oil dominance, denounced Putin’s support for the Maduro regime in Venezuela, slapped sanctions on Russian officials, and condemned human rights abuses.
Gowdy also asked Pompeo about the assassination of Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani.
“Well, that particular general was plotting to kill Americans,” the former secretary of State noted. He acknowledged that many observers warned the assassination might spark World War III, but it actually “demonstrated the capacity for America to execute deterrents against Iran.”
“Going back to try and cut that deal from 2015 would be a calamity,” Pompeo warned. He said it would be “a calamity for the gulf states, a calamity for our friend and partner the Jewish homeland the state of Israel,” and a calamity for the U.S. America and the world cannot afford the possibility “that the world’s largest state sponsor of terror will once again have the power, the resources, the capacity, to do real harm.”
Pompeo concluded by once again defending his record. He acknowledged that “there were some cold receptions in Brussels and some of the salons of Europe,” but he insisted that his team delivered “good outcomes.”
“So ask [India] Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi. Ask [former Japan] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe. Ask Prime Minister [Scott] Morrison in Australia. All of these leaders understood that America had their back. We were their friends. We were their partners. We were working diligently to deliver security. We did that,” he said. “And I am proud of the alliances that this administration built.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.