Friday, 17 January, 2020

Pompeo reportedly ‘erupted’ over Pence’s scolding of U.S. allies on Iran

Via: The Week

When Vice President Mike Pence in Germany and Poland this month urgedEuropean leaders to follow the United States’ example in abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly was not happy.

Pence’s bombastic comments shattered a “fragile unity” Pompeo had cobbled together for talks about Iran with U.S. allies, The New York Times reported Sunday in a lengthy new profile of Pompeo’s tenure at state. Publicly, the secretary kept silent. But behind closed doors, the Times story says, he raged at Pence’s untimely message:

Privately, Mr. Pompeo briefly erupted. Aides said he complained Mr. Pence had undermined diplomacy — which one European official said included near-agreement about imposing new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile tests — and prompted fresh headlines about trans-Atlantic tensions. [The New York Times]

The episode is emblematic of the Times‘ broader portrayal of Pompeo as carefully loyal to the White House when in the public eye, a tactic that has kept the secretary of state in President Trump’s volatile favor:

Mr. Pompeo unfailingly sticks to the presidential line. For example, he publicly refuses to acknowledge the intelligence agencies’ assessments — including those prepared by his former staff at the C.I.A. — that contradict Mr. Trump on matters like North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic State.

The president has rewarded Mr. Pompeo’s loyalty by anointing him the point person on several signature issues. Those include North Korea and Afghanistan, a subject on which one American official said Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Trump speak directly to each other, sidelining [National Security Adviser John] Bolton. [The New York Times

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