Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demonstrated his loyalty to the President by publicly backing Trump’s Syria withdrawal, despite reportedly privately disagreeing with it beforehand.
“The U.S. efforts under President Trump in Syria have had extraordinary success. We’ve taken away more than 90 percent of the ISIS caliphate. … We will continue to keep the homeland safe from the threat from ISIS,” Pompeo told KMUW Wichita Public Radio. “But it no longer makes sense for there to be 2,000 soldiers stationed there.”
“We’ve achieved that mission and now it’s time to make sure that we continue to fight ISIS – they exist not only in Syria but around the world – but do so in a way that reduces the risk to American soldiers,” he added during an interview with 550 KFRM-AM. “The President made that decision and we will, in an orderly way, make a transition so that we can continue to keep Americans safe without expending as much blood and treasure of the American people in Syria.”
This differed from other senior officials who disagreed with the decision, such as Defense Sec. James Mattis, who chose to resign and publicly criticize Trump after the decision was made, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has avoided the media after Trump ran roughshod over his previous plan for Syria.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, a leading figure within the U.S. deep state, subsequently slammed Pompeo as a “yes man” and lacking in “backbone and spine in terms of standing up”.
Given the frequent insubordination that has been perpetrated by other leading officials in the Trump administration, it is refreshing that there is at least one senior Cabinet figure standing firmly behind the President and his foreign policy agenda.