Weekend Reads: Trump's impeachment ire turns on Pompeo amid diplomats' starring roles - - PressFrom - Canada
  •   
  •   
  •   

Weekend Reads Trump's impeachment ire turns on Pompeo amid diplomats' starring roles

14:45  18 november  2019
14:45  18 november  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Pompeo's Impeachment Role Draws Outcry From Diplomats, Staffers

  Pompeo's Impeachment Role Draws Outcry From Diplomats, Staffers Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been credited with improving State Department staffing and morale, but his treatment of U.S. Foreign Service officers caught in the impeachment inquiry has undercut those efforts, according to current and former career professionals upset over his recent actions. As the impeachment inquiry increasingly pits the White House against members of the U.S. Foreign Service who have been called to testify, Mr. Pompeo has sided at key junctures with President Trump, prompting at least one high-level resignation and eliciting protests from groups that represent current and former staff members.

Trump has fumed for weeks that Pompeo is responsible for hiring State Department officials whose congressional testimony threatens to bring down his presidency, the officials said. Trump particularly blames Pompeo for tapping Ambassador Bill Taylor in June to be the top U. S . diplomat in Ukraine

Trump impeachment inquiry. Image copyright Reuters. Image caption Mr Pompeo was reportedly US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Democrats of bullying his staff as a part of an President Trump was heard asking about "investigations" into Joe Biden, a top US diplomat testifies.

WASHINGTON —The Ukraine impeachment inquiry has created the first rift between President Donald Trump and the Cabinet member who has been his closest ally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to four current and former senior administration officials.

Trump has fumed for weeks that Pompeo is responsible for hiring State Department officials whose congressional testimony threatens to bring down his presidency, the officials said. The president confronted Pompeo about the officials — and what he believed was a lackluster effort by the secretary of state to block their testimony — during lunch at the White House on Oct. 29, those familiar with the matter said.

Pelosi says agreement on revamped NAFTA ‘imminent’

  Pelosi says agreement on revamped NAFTA ‘imminent’ WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to see Congress pass President Donald Trump’s revamped North American free trade deal this year. In a news conference Thursday, the California Democrat said an agreement on the pact is “imminent.” In a news conference Thursday, the California Democrat said an agreement on the pact is “imminent.

Rudy Giuliani says Trump will stay loyal to him but jokes that he has 'insurance'. President’s lawyer, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, speaks to Guardian amid As key diplomats testified in an open session, Democrats hoped to overcome the polarization that has defined Trump ’ s presidency.

President Trump ' s lawyers will be allowed to take part in the Judiciary Committee stage. Republicans will be able to subpoena documents or witnesses although they could still be blocked as both panels are controlled by Democrats. What's the reaction?

Inside the White House, the view was that Trump "just felt like, 'rein your people in,'" a senior administration official said.

Trump particularly blames Pompeo for tapping Ambassador Bill Taylor in June to be the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, the current and former senior administration officials said.

Taylor has provided the House Intelligence Committee with some of the most damaging details on the White House's effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating one of the president's potential rivals in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.

Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: President Trump Hosts Italian President Sergio Mattarella At The White House© Michael Reynolds President Trump Hosts Italian President Sergio Mattarella At The White House

A crack in the seemingly unbreakable bond between Trump and Pompeo is striking because Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, is viewed as the "Trump whisperer" who has survived — and thrived — working for a president who has routinely tired of and discarded senior members of his team.

Trump attacks Pence aide who said Ukraine call was 'unusual and inappropriate'

  Trump attacks Pence aide who said Ukraine call was 'unusual and inappropriate' Trump referred to Jennifer Williams as a Never Trumper in what has become a common attack on officials cooperating with the probe."Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine," Trump tweeted.

Those diplomats had told Trump to meet with Zelensky without preconditions, according to Sondland. His testimony is at odds with the testimony of some other foreign policy officials, however, who indicated that Sondland was a willing participant.

Trump says impeachment is ‘very hard on my family’. The president rallies voters to turn out for Republican Eddie Rispone, who is running to unseat Gov. Diplomats George Kent (left) and William Taylor are sworn-in prior to testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. |

But the impeachment inquiry has put Pompeo in what one senior administration official described as an untenable position: trying to manage a bureaucracy of 75,000 people that has soured on his leadership and also please a boss with outsized expectations of loyalty.

Also watch: Impeachment hearings round up: What have we learned so far?

"He feels like he's getting a bunch of blame from the president and the White House for having hired all these people who are turning against Trump," an official familiar with the dynamic said of Pompeo, "and that it's the State Department that is going to bring him down, so it's all Pompeo's fault."

Neither the White House nor the State Department responded to requests for comment.

Conway and Haley get into heated feud: 'You'll say anything to get the vice-presidential nomination'

  Conway and Haley get into heated feud: 'You'll say anything to get the vice-presidential nomination' George Conway and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley got into a heated back-and-forth on Twitter on Monday she knocked the conservative lawyer and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for his recent criticism of a Republican lawmaker amid the House's impeachment inquiry.George Conway and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley got into a heated back-and-forth on Twitter on Monday she knocked the conservative lawyer and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for his recent criticism of a Republican lawmaker amid the House's impeachment inquiry.

The Latest on President Donald Trump and House impeachment hearings The Wyoming Republican served in senior State Department roles when her father, Dick Cheney, was vice The career diplomat testified Friday that she’d been felled by a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump

The career diplomat and foreign service officer took aim at Trump , his personal In her testimony, Yovanovitch said she believed she had become the target of Giuliani' s ire because she would not But Yovanovitch didn't bite and insisted the State Department, including Secretary Mike Pompeo , were

Four current State Department officials have testified before the House Intelligence Committee.

Three of them — Taylor, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary at the State Department in charge of Europe — appeared before the committee last week to deliver the first public testimony in Democrats' impeachment inquiry. All three of them currently remain employed by the State Department, though Yovanovitch has been sidelined to a teaching post at Georgetown University.

Taylor was dining in the State Department cafeteria the day after he testified, over the administration's objections, and was surrounded by employees expressing support for him, according to two people who saw him there.

Kurt Volker, who was the State Department's envoy on Ukraine until last month, was the first official to testify. He resigned about a week before his Oct. 3 deposition, during which he turned over reams of text messages detailing the White House's Ukraine pressure campaign.

Trump has hinted publicly at tensions with Pompeo, and while the comments might go unnoticed by the untrained ear they've been heard loudly by people close to the president.

Fox Anchor Chris Wallace: Sondland Just Ran the Bus Over Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Giuliani and Mulvaney

  Fox Anchor Chris Wallace: Sondland Just Ran the Bus Over Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Giuliani and Mulvaney pDuring the first break in Wednesday’s impeachment hearings—which featured U.S. Ambassador to the EU and million-dollar Trump donor Gordon Sondland implicating President Donald Trump in a quid pro quo with Ukraine—Fox News anchor Chris Wallace declared that Sondland “took out the bus and ran it over” President Donald Trump and a number of his allies and aides. “I think what Gordon Sondland was trying to do here is protect himself more than he is to protect anybody else,” Wallace said during Fox News’ special coverage.

Americans still remain split about removing Trump from office, and analysts caution that single polls can be misleading.

As Trump ’ s personal attorney he has been trying to find compromising material about the president’s enemies in Ukraine in what some have termed a “shadow” foreign policy. In a series of eccentric TV appearances he has claimed that the US state department asked him to get involved.

The first was on Oct. 23, officials said, when Trump wrote on Twitter: "It would be really great if the people within the Trump Administration, all well-meaning and good (I hope!), could stop hiring Never Trumpers, who are worse than the Do Nothing Democrats. Nothing good will ever come from them!"

Trump followed up with another tweet specifically calling Taylor, and his lawyer, "Never Trumpers."

Two days later, Trump said Pompeo "made a mistake" in hiring Taylor.

"Here's the problem: He's a never Trumper, and his lawyer is," the president told reporters about Taylor. "The other problem is — hey, everyone makes mistakes — Mike Pompeo. Everybody makes mistakes."

The next day, Oct. 26, Pompeo was notably absent as the president sat with his national security team during the U.S. military raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Pompeo was not informed about the raid until late Friday after he was home in Kansas for his son's friend's wedding, officials said.

Throughout the impeachment inquiry, Pompeo and Trump have maintained their weekly lunches at the White House, according to the president's public schedule.

But the president was angry when he arrived in his private dining room on Oct. 29, two officials said. Pompeo defended himself, officials said, by telling Trump he doesn't know who half of these State Department officials are, officials said. He also noted that there are thousands of employees at the agency, explaining that he can't control them, those familiar with the matter said.

Five bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony

  Five bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony President Trump's hand-picked ambassador to the European Union appeared Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where the latest witness in the Democrats' impeachment investigation delivered hours of explosive testimony tying Trump directly to a politically motivated pressure campaign in Ukraine. Gordon Sondland, a Republican mega-donor-turned E.U. ambassador, had previously denied that Trump leveraged White House meetings and U.S. military aid in return for investigations into the president's political rivals.

And Mr. Trump ’ s allies mostly took it as a sign that a vote on articles of impeachment was Mr. Trump ’ s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tried to turn the political spotlight onto Mr. Biden, as Ms. Pelosi’s announcement came amid a groundswell in favor of impeachment among Democrats that

The career diplomat testified Friday that she’d been felled by a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump and his allies. Sullivan told her that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “was no longer able to protect” her from The rare impeachment inquiry is focused on Trump ’ s actions toward Ukraine.

One official said Trump and Pompeo patched things up during the lunch. Another person familiar with the meeting said Pompeo continues to be "iced out" by the president, a shift that often entails still being included in his meetings but listened to less.

"Pompeo feels under siege," this person said.

He was at the White House last Wednesday for Trump's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The tension with Trump comes as Pompeo weighs whether to leave the administration to run for Kansas' open Senate seat.

Pompeo has served in the administration since its start. Trump tapped him as CIA director, then moved him to secretary of state after he fired Pompeo's predecessor, Rex Tillerson. For almost three years, Pompeo seamlessly navigated a finicky president. He's remained, and became more influential, as Trump churned through two chiefs of staff, three national security advisers, an attorney general, and secretaries of defense, state, labor, homeland security, interior, veterans affairs and health and human services.

But in recent weeks Pompeo has been under steady fire over his role in the Ukraine scandal, as well as his handling of it.

Initially when the Ukraine controversy became public, Trump wanted Pompeo to publicly defend him against the State Department bureaucracy, officials said. But the White House thought Pompeo appeared unprepared in his television interviews, and his performance only fueled the president's frustrations, they said.

Pompeo has faced criticism for saying, during an interview on ABC's "This Week," that he didn't know anything about the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that is at the center of the controversy. Pompeo didn't disclose until more than a week later that he had listened in on that call.

Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’

  Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’ Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’Those words, Ivanka Trump claimed, were spoken by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. In a Thursday evening tweet, the first daughter used the quotation to bash the impeachment hearings against her father, President Donald Trump.

The career diplomat testified Friday that she’d been felled by a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump and his allies. Sullivan told her that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “was no longer able to protect” her from The rare impeachment inquiry is focused on Trump ’ s actions toward Ukraine.

Yet Pompeo did nothing and less than two months later, Yovanovitch was recalled from her post at the behest of Trump . In his prepared statement on Thursday, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland aligned himself with career diplomats and passed responsibility for his role in the

Like the White House, he has attempted to block State Department officials from testifying. And he has refused to turn over State Department documents related to Ukraine.

His decision last week, however, to allow the State Department to help pay for the legal fees that officials ensnared in the impeachment inquiry are accruing could further strain his relationship with the president.

That decision underscores the balance Pompeo is trying to strike between the president and the department he leads.

State Department officials had thought Pompeo's move to the agency in April 2018 would be a welcome antidote to what they viewed as the bureaucratic fecklessness of Tillerson, given Pompeo's unfettered access to Trump and their close relationship.

But morale at the State Department has sagged for months, and it plummeted further as the Ukraine scandal unfolded, according to multiple officials.

State Department officials are critical of Pompeo for buckling to pressure from the president and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and abruptly recalling Yovanovitch while she was serving as U.S. ambassador in Ukraine. Yovanovitch had been vilified by Giuliani, who convinced the president she was working against his interests.

Criticism of Pompeo inside the State Department escalated when he refused to publicly defend Yovanovitch after a reconstructed transcript of the July 25 call revealed Trump disparaged Yovanovitch to Zelenskiy, administration officials have said. Pompeo's closest aide, Ambassador Mike McKinley, resigned over the secretary's refusal to defend Yovanovitch.

Testimony from Taylor and others show Pompeo was keenly aware of the concerns his top officials had about Giuliani's efforts and his handling of Yovanovitch.

In public testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch appeared to excoriate Pompeo for "the failure of State Department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy."

"It is the responsibility of the department's leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution the most effective diplomatic force in the world," she said.

According to administration officials, Pompeo's refusal to publicly defend Yovanovitch cemented a wider view within the State Department that he has enabled some of Trump's impulsive foreign policy decisions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from Syria after a phone call with Turkey's President Erdgoan.

"Pompeo is hated by his building," a person close to the secretary said, adding that he "feels the heat a great deal and feels it's personal at state."

Fiona Hill left a legacy for angry women during impeachment hearing .
Fiona Hill left a legacy for angry women during impeachment hearingFiona Hill said this week that her only agenda was to serve as a fact witness for the House Intelligence Committee. But as the hearings fade into history, Hill's legacy will be that of a woman who called out a dais full of powerful men for spouting fiction and suggested they ought to pay more attention when a woman shows anger, instead of brushing it off as an emotional reaction.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 5
This is interesting!