In an administration that has a revolving door of staff and officials, Secretary of State Mike “Trump whisperer” Pompeo has remained in the President’s good graces. Until now.
NBC News has that four senior administration officials that work or previously worked closely with Trump and Pompeo have noticed a changing tide. One of those sources claimed Pompeo is feeling blamed for the things said in the Impeachment hearings:
“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, and that it’s the State Department that is going to bring him down, so it’s all Pompeo’s fault.”
Trump is placing blame on Pompeo for hiring what he calls “never Trumpers.” The President is particularly perturbed by Bill Taylor, Former United States Ambassador to Ukraine, who has delivered some damaging details to the House Intelligence Committee. It was also reported that Trump confronted Pompeo for not blocking Taylor from testifying.
It’s not just Taylor that has Trump in a tizzy. He is also upset about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department George Kent who is in charge of Europe. Both testified last week as well.
Taylor, Yovanovitch, and Kent are all still employed by the State Department.
At the same time, The State Department also harbors disdain for the Secretary for failing to back his staff in the face of Trump’s attacks. A person close to him said, “Pompeo is hated by his building.”
Yavonavitch even criticized him in her public testimony saying he failed to “push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy.” She went on to say,
“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.”
Pompeo feels the chill
The sources inside the White House pointed out the timeline for the breakdown of Trump’s and Pompeo’s relationship. The very first hint of danger to Pompe came, predictably, in the form of a tweet:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2019
Then a couple of days later, Trump made this statement to reporters:
“Here’s the problem: He’s a never Trumper, and his lawyer is. The other problem is — hey, everyone makes mistakes — Mike Pompeo. Everybody makes mistakes.”
President Trump: "Here's the problem — [Amb. Bill Taylor's] a never-Trumper and his lawyer's a never-Trumper, and the other problem is -"
Question: "Then why did Mike Pompeo hire him?"
Trump: "Hey, everybody makes mistakes. Mike Pompeo — everybody makes mistakes." pic.twitter.com/PrtCf9kOrD
— The Hill (@thehill) October 26, 2019
The very next day, Trump sat with his national security team while the U.S. military raided and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Notably absent was Mike Pompeo. Allegedly, the Secretary of State was not even told about the raid until later on Friday evening.
— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Scavino45) October 27, 2019
The pair have apparently been keeping their weekly Friday lunch date, but another source claims Pompeo is being “iced out”—a tactic described as including a person in meetings but listening to them less.
This fall from grace is a steep one for Pompeo who has been a part of the administration from the beginning. Initially, Trump looked to make him CIA director, but he was shuffled to Secretary of State after Rex Tillerson’s you’re fired tweet. Pompeo has outlasted two chiefs of staff, three national security advisors, and seven secretaries.
With so much tension all around, it is no wonder that Pompeo is allegedly contemplating leaving the administration to run for the open Kansas Senate seat.