Will having a government chasing its tail over this impeachment fiasco embolden our enemies?
We’re all old enough to remember, aren’t we, when Democrats were taking the lines of attack that anything Trump did was evil and impeachable because it accomplished the nebulous goal of ’emboldening our enemies’.
Whether it was Putin being emboldened by Trump telling NATO nations to pony up for protecting Europe, or meeting with North Korea legitimizing an evil leader, or even most recently when Trump pulled a couple of dozen troops out of Syria when Turkey had made it clear they were coming whether we liked it or not, the drumbeat was always that Trump was somehow emboldening our enemies.
Well, what do we suppose will happen to the potency of our ability to influence and negotiate with foreign powers while his own government is actively turning upon him in what even the ‘whistleblower’s lawyer is calling a coup?
That’s a question that was raised in Hugh Hewitt’s interview with Mike Pompeo.
HH: … The House impeachment hearings open today. Mike Gallagher, your friend from Wisconsin and member of the House said moments ago on this show that these hearings and the impeachment vortex create a permissive atmosphere for Communists and the authoritarians. Secretary Pompeo, do you think American political soap operas endanger our friends in Hong Kong, the poor people of Venezuela, even our neighbor, our ally, Israel, by taking our eye of the big ball?
MP: My job, Hugh, is to make sure that doesn’t happen. Look, there’s a lot of noise. There’ll be noise today. There’ll be noise for the rest of this week. My mission here and my team’s mission at the State Department is to make sure that that doesn’t do precisely what you describe. I’ve told the team to stay focused. There’s all this chatter, but then there’s challenges and opportunities for America around the world. And our mission set has to be to make sure that that risk that Representative Gallagher identified doesn’t come to bear.
HH: When you were a member of the House, and specifically when you were on the Benghazi Select Committee, did the majority block two-thirds of the witnesses the minority wanted to call, which is what Adam Schiff has done here?
MP: That process was very different from this process. We were patient. We allowed the agencies to produce their witnesses at a time when they were prepared. We allowed them to have counsel. It was a completely different process than what’s taken place so far. I regret that. I regret that for the team that works for me here at the State Department that I believe has been treated incredibly unfairly. But most importantly, I regret it for the American people that we haven’t had a process that has allowed an inquiry to proceed in a way that’s fair and equitable, and gets to the facts in an appropriate way to the American people. I hope that’ll change.
HH: Last question on these hearings, Mr. Secretary. A couple of news outlets have attempted to create a narrative that you are at cross-purposes with career staff and morale is low at the State Department. I know morale at the State Department, because my son works there, and I always disclose that when I talk to you. But your support for the career staff has never been in doubt in my mind. What do you make of these stories?
MP: More Washington insidery stuff, a long history of the press reporting about unhappiness at the State Department, and especially, frankly, in Republican administrations. The truth of the matter is my team, my senior team, which includes folks like David Hale and Carol Perez, very capable senior foreign service officers, are doing good work, investing in the future of the institution, investing in our diplomacy, working hard to deliver good outcomes for the American people. I’ll leave it to others to characterize morale. It’s a big organization. I’m sure there’s lots of different thoughts. But suffice it to say the American people should be comfortable knowing that we are continuing to do the hard work to deliver good policy outcomes for President Trump and the United States.
From here in the cheap seats it’s looking like the Democrats are — much like Bill Maher was with hoping for a recession — more interested in seeing the President fail than they are in seeing America do well.
And it’s a damn shame for any politician to have that attitude, isn’t it?