As Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo brought Trump’s America First policies to the world stage. That policy, which spoke softly and carried a big stick, attempted to reassert American strength abroad while rebuilding confidence with her allies. But with the transition to a new Biden administration, Pompeo joined The Cats Roundtable to express his disbelief that strength seen under Trump was being eroded, destabilizing American security at home and abroad.
The contrast between the Trump and Biden administrations couldn’t be made more clear than on the southern border, where officials reported a record number of illegal crossings in February. The surge has been fueled by Biden’s reversal of Trump-era immigration policies. But the rollback has already created what Pompeo called an unfolding “calamity.”
While Pompeo sympathized with the plight of unaccompanied children, he told The Cats Roundtable the buck for the tragedy stops at Biden’s desk.
“The incentives that the Biden administration set up are causing these people to believe and create an incentive for them to come here,” Pompeo noted. “You see the result. You see this chaotic, terrible condition these people are being forced to live in, and you see the calamity this presents to the United States as well.”
But if Biden is trying to project to American adversaries that he’s no pushover, the tragedy at the border isn’t helping. While the Biden administration has sent overtures that it wants to renegotiate trade ties with China and Iran, Pompeo feared the crisis on the border showed the White House lacked the “clear-eyed” understanding of Trump’s foreign policy.
“China has every intention of creating a global power,” Pompeo told The Cats Roundtable. “It’s almost like a colonial power from days gone by.”
The former Secretary of State’s comments come on the eve of a meeting between the US and Chinese officials in Alaska that Pompeo felt were doomed from the start.
“Unfortunately, I fear that they will consider that this talk is progress, and frankly, with the Chinese Communist Party, talk is to their advantage,” he admitted. “The Chinese Communist Party responds to a single thing—they understand power. They understand boldness. They understand nations that are prepared to defend themselves in the same way that they, China, are prepared to defend themselves.”
Pompeo told The Cats Roundtable that his time as Secretary of State taught him America’s enemies understand one thing: the language of strength. A language President Trump and Pompeo projected well.
Anxiety is especially high surrounding Biden’s handling of Iran, with Tehran hoping the new US president will lift sanctions and re-enter the Obama-era Iran Nuclear Deal. Pompeo described the Biden game plan as making the US and the Middle East “less stable.”
“The leaders of Iran knew that President Trump was serious about creating peace and stability in the Middle East,” he explained, adding that Tehran, like Beijing, believed they could “threaten and bluster and receive things in exchange for nothing.”
2021 is already a year of contrasts. To Pompeo, the unity projected under Trump has given way to divisiveness under Biden, at a time when the role of the US around the globe couldn’t be more important. He criticized Biden’s signing of executive orders rather than finding the bipartisan support to pass legislation, telling The Cats Roundtable it revealed the holes in Biden’s calls for unity. And despite Trump’s controversies, the former President was able to shake hands with both sides of the aisle to deliver to the American people.
“It tells me that the American people don’t agree with many of the actions he’s taken so far,” Pompeo noted, adding it was not “in the best interest of the American people to have a president governing in that way.”
Listen to the interview below