Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered a message to former Trump administration officials walking away from President Donald Trump, during a meeting with top Republican lawmakers and senior congressional staffers on Friday evening.
“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished — not just in the national security, foreign policy space, which I’ve worked with, but the things that we’ve done with families, the pro-life work that we have done. These are things that will truly be historic. I think history will remember us very well for these things when the books are written,” he said in remarks.
Pompeo’s remarks were made at the end of a private day-long meeting by the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus within the House chaired by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). Lawmakers and aides discussed the conservative moment and where it goes next.
Pompeo said what happened was tragic but that those walking away from the president were “not listening to the American people.”
“While I think we all think the violence that took place in the place where you all work in the Capitol was tragic, I’ve watched people walk away from this president already. And they are not listening to the American people. Not remotely,” he said.
Pompeo also discussed the administration’s foreign policy successes, and contrasted it with eight awful years under the Obama administration.
“We watched eight years of the foreign policy of the previous administration that was fantasy. They would enter into agreements and arrangements that weren’t based on anything with the potential to be lasting, and if America First in foreign policy means anything, it means being realistic.” He added:
It means this deep recognition that our sole responsibility is to protect the American people. When we do that, I am very confident we will increase security for people all around the world, we will raise others up as well. But our mission set, everyday, is to say, ‘How do we make sure that everything we do secures freedom for America?’ and it’s gotten us to walk away from a whole bunch of things. We’ve walked away from the World Health Organization. We walked away from the UN Human Rights Commission. We walked away from some of the central understandings of the World Trade Organization.
Each of these things was detrimental to the American people, their prosperity, their security. We were right to do that. It’s a sensibility that I think 75 million people still understand and understood in November of this year. They haven’t stopped understanding, I promise you that.
Pompeo’s remarks also come as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from the presidency.
Amid reports that some of Trump’s cabinet members were discussing doing so, Pompeo tweeted out a photo of himself, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien in a sign that he was not abandoning the president under Democratic pressure.