Pompeo: Disastrous Afghanistan exit will ’embolden’ Iranian regime, ‘spark’ terrorism

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning that the Biden administration’s handling of the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal will “embolden” the Iranian regime and lead to increased terrorist activity in the Middle East and around the world.

“I’m worried that the situation on the Iranian border in Afghanistan will only strengthen the Iranian regime’s hand,” Pompeo said Monday at the Organization of Iranian American Communities conference in Washington, D.C.

“The Iranians watched, they watched as the United States projected weakness and chaos as it withdrew from Afghanistan. And we know that the Iranians thrive by weakness. We also know that it always emboldens our adversaries. The truth is that the present administration inherited an orderly plan for a drawdown in Afghanistan.” 

He said the Biden administration “ripped up that plan and turned it into a chaotic rush for the exit, and 13 brave Americans paid with their lives. I worry that the same weakness will enable a bloodthirsty Iranian regime to be even more harsh on its own people, people who oppose the regime, and that American weakness will embolden the absence of resistance to spark increased terrorism in the Middle East, and indeed all around the world.” 

Pompeo said the headquarters for the terrorist organization responsible for the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda, is in Tehran.

“Al Qaeda International, the headquarters for Al Qaeda’s operational leaders that builds up plots across the world is not in Afghanistan,” he said. “They’re being hosted, protected and operating today from Tehran.”

Pompeo argued that “human rights and counterterrorism” should be at the “forefront” of U.S. policy toward Iran as opposed to “appeasement” through another nuclear deal. He called on the Biden administration to continue the Trump administration’s sanction campaign against the Iranian regime.

Pompeo said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi should be prosecuted now for his role in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

Participants at the conference called on the U.S. to hold Raisi “accountable for the 1988 massacre.”

Raisi is reportedly set to address the United Nations via video on Tuesday.

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Mike Pompeo says military officials faced ‘political pressure’ with drone strike

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ripped President Biden for the drone attack that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, in Afghanistan, saying military officials bowed to “political pressure” and carried out the strike in a “rush.”

Pompeo called the killing of aid worker Zemari Ahmadi and members of his family on Aug. 29  a “tragedy” and offered his “apologies.”

But he said the drone strike was mishandled by the administration the same way it bungled the US military withdrawal and allowed the Taliban to return to power.

“This is just another example. It looks like they were in a rush. They were in a hurry. You could see the political pressure. And if there was one thing that drove this failed evacuation was the arbitrary political deadline that President Biden set, the arbitrary cap on the number of troops could be there, so we could secure American departure and the departure of our equipment​,” he said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”​

The drone strike occurred one day before the US completed its pullout.

Biden came under fire after he admitted that it was a US drone that killed 10 Afghan civilians on the final day of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Al Drago/Getty Images
Seven out of the 10 people that were killed in the drone strike were children along with one US citizen.
Seven out of the 10 people that were killed in the drone strike were children along with one US citizen.
AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi, File

Pompeo said the political decisions to withdraw and launch the drone put intense pressure on the US military. ​

“​I’m confident that the military was under enormous pressure. President Biden had said, ‘we’re going to strike back at the folks who killed the 13 Americans.’ And we had a strike that clearly failed, failed to deliver to protect America and killed civilians​,” Pompeo said.​

“This is just another piece of an evacuation that was driven by politics and not putting America first and America’s national security,” the former top diplomat said.

According to documents, one of the people killed was US aid worker Zemari Ahmadi.
According to documents, one of the people killed was US aid worker Zemari Ahmadi.
Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times / Polaris

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the commander of Central Command, announced on Friday that the drone attack killed 10 civilians.

“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” he said.

​Initially, the Pentagon said the drone successfully targeted terrorists and its aim was to prevent another ISIS-K suicide bombing attack like the one that took place three days earlier at the Kabul airport that killed 13 US service members and at least ​169 Afghans. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Biden saying that the military bowed to
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Biden saying that the military bowed to “political pressure” and acted too fast.
REUTERS/Octavio Jones/File Photo

Pompeo said the deadly error has cost the US valuable credibility on the world stage and he doesn’t see how the White House can recover.

“It’s very difficult to imagine how this administration is going to turn it around because they seem so deeply desirous of just making this go away, as if there weren’t still Americans that are being held hostage by the Taliban instead of Afghanistan, if we still didn’t have promises out to some of the folks who had helped us for these past 20 years,” he said.

“​So I don’t see how the Biden administration gets back from this space. I hope they will begin to recognize that the their credibility around the world was damaged deeply by how they executed this withdrawal, the failure to work alongside allies, to deliver, make sure we got our allies and friends out of the country, and that we abandoned a partner in a way that didn’t deliver on security for our friends in the region as well​,” he said. ​

The Pentagon initially had said that the drone strike had killed members of ISIS-K, who were responsible for the Kabul airport bombing.
The Pentagon initially had said that the drone strike had killed members of ISIS-K, who were responsible for the Kabul airport bombing.
Oliver Contretas/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Relatives of Ahmadi, who had worked for a US aid group, and the family members are pleading with the US government to help them leave Afghanistan and pay them for their suffering.

“Whether in America or another country, we want peace and comfort for our remaining years,” Samim Ahmadi — the 24-year-old stepson of Ahmadi — told the Washington Post.  “Everyone makes mistakes. The Americans cannot bring back our loved ones, but they can take us out of here.”

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Pompeo hits Biden’s ‘dangerous moves’ on N. Korea

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday warned that President Biden is making “dangerous moves” on North Korea and  his lack of a coherent response to Pyongyang’s provocations jeopardizes American credibility with allies who want “leadership from the United States.”

“I’m concerned that the United States is returning to an Obama-era policy of ‘Strategic Patience’ 2.0,’” Mr. Pompeo told an audience of dignitaries from South Korea and Japan at a virtual gathering Saturday that included remarks from other former high-level U.S. diplomats and lawmakers.

Mr. Pompeo referred to years of waffling on North Korea by the former Bush and Obama administrations, prior to the Trump-era escalation of sanctions and other pressure on Pyongyang led to historic denuclearization summits between former President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

While the summits ultimately fell short of delivering an agreement for North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons arsenal, and U.S.-North Korea talks have since been stalled for more than two years, Mr. Pompeo warned that the Biden administration is now essentially handing a victory to Pyongyang.

“Choosing to firmly pursue neither pressure nor diplomacy will give Chairman Kim and his regime more opportunity to build out its arsenal,” the former secretary of state said, pointing to unsettling recent indications of new movement afoot at North Korea‘s infamous Yongbyon nuclear research facility.

“If the Biden Administration continues dithering, it will only give the regime more time to undermine sanctions,” Mr. Pompeo said about Pyongyang’s clandestine development of nuclear weapons in violation of decades of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

He also pointed to North Korea‘s recent claims to have successfully tested long-range cruise missiles” — tests last week that were followed by the circulation of eye-opening images purportedly showing the North Korean launch of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) from a railcar.

“They are testing the Biden Administration on how it will respond,” said Mr. Pompeo.

Thus far, the administration has remained largely silent in the face of the new provocations that have rattled U.S. allies South Korea and Japan. While Mr. Biden has kept in place existing sanctions against Pyongyang, it has not added new ones. However, it has gone forward with U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises that have triggered threats of escalation from the Kim regime.

All the while, the administration‘s new Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim has expressed hope for a resumption of talks with the regime, most recently asserting during a Sept. 13 meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Tokyo that, “we hope [North Korea] will respond positively to our multiple offers to meet without preconditions.”

Analysts characterize the current approach as tantamount to a reboot of the so-called “Strategic Patience” policy that Washington embraced initially during the final years of the George W. Bush administration and then carried on throughout the Obama era. The approach revolves around avoiding direct escalation while continuing sanctions and making offers to hold “working-level” dialogues that avoid rewarding the regime with any major diplomatic overtures.

The Trump administration engaged in an alternative approach of ramping up “maximum pressure” before spearheading top-level diplomacy with Mr. Kim himself. Mr. Pompeo, who was integral to that approach — first as CIA director and then as secretary of state — lashed out at the current administration’s posture on Saturday. “A strategy of ‘Strategic Patience 2.0’ will weaken our credibility with allies and partners throughout the world who want to see leadership from the United States,” he said. “It says North Korea isn’t a priority for us.”


Pushing for freedom

The former secretary of state’s remarks came at the inaugural event of “Think Tank 2022,” an initiative sponsored by The Washington Times Foundation and the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), a global non-government organization that operates in general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon participated in an event officially launching “Think Tank 2022” in May. Mrs. Moon, the widow of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is the leader of the Unification movement that grew from the Unification Church the Rev. Moon founded in 1954 — a year after the war between North and South Korea was frozen by a U.S.-backed armistice. She and her late husband devoted their lives to the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and to the promotion of world peace. They founded The Washington Times in 1982.

Mr. Pompeo, who praised the work of Mrs. Moon during Saturday’s event, focused a portion of his remarks on the virtues of “religious freedom,” calling it “the most fundamental of all human rights,” and asserting that its promotion is “crucial to peace in Northeast Asia.”  

In a roughly 30 minute speech, he reflected on his efforts to promote religious freedom as secretary of state, noting that it was America’s “first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who once wrote: ‘Almighty God has created the mind free. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry, or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief.’”

“When people are free to talk about the most consequential ideas, societies can find the best way forward,” Mr. Pompeo said. “When people see their neighbors worshipping peacefully, they gain tolerance for different viewpoints. When churches, mosques, and synagogues are free to engage in their neighborhoods, bonds of community are made stronger.”

He went on to emphasize the absence of religious freedom in North Korea, asserting that some 50,000 to 70,000 people are currently in prison in North Korea “just for being Christians.”

Mr. Pompeo also focused on China, citing the “contrast” between American respect for religious freedom and the “Chinese Communist Party’s soul-crushing deprivations.”

“You know what I mean,” he said. “We see brutal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetan Buddhists. We read of churches forced to replace displays of the Ten Commandments with quotations from General Secretary Xi. We read reports of Party officials recruiting children to become informants against their churchgoing parents. And of course, we all know the truth about the sickening genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.”

“[The Chinese Communist Party] cannot abide the idea that the Chinese people would find their identity or their meaning in life in God,” the former secretary of state added. “Party leaders believe the Party alone should command the loyalties of the human heart. But little do they know that their suppression of faith is bound to backfire. Crippling religious freedom only creates more curiosity about faith and distrust of the regime.”


Growing China threat

U.S.-China tensions have risen since the Trump-era push to rally regional democracies to counter Beijing’s rise as an autocratic global power.

Mr. Pompeo broadly praised the Biden administration for embracing aspects of that push during recent months. Most notably, Mr. Biden has picked up where Mr. Trump left off in promoting the so-called “Quad” alignment of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, the most powerful democracies of the Indo-Pacific.

The president is slated to hold a first-ever in-person summit of leaders from the Quad countries on Sept. 24 at the White House.

But Mr. Pompeo suggested Washington should be more focused on threats posed by China, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. “Make no mistake, China is a destabilizing force for this region,” he said, adding that Beijing is becoming “more aggressive” toward Taiwan, and noting that China has recently been found to be “constructing approximately 250 new nuclear missile silos.”

“What kind of message does that send to the region?” asked Mr. Pompeo, who criticized Mr. Biden‘s posture toward such developments, asserting that the administration has “made no effort to address Chinese nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Pompeo added that China also “continues to turn a blind eye to North Korea’s sanctions evasion,” behavior that he said “undermines the maximum pressure campaign that was successful in helping Chairman Kim come to the negotiating table.”

Organizers have described “Think Tank 2022” as a “global network of experts in all sectors and fields” that will work to encourage international efforts to promote peace around the North Korea issue. During Saturday’s event, Mr. Pompeo and other former U.S. officials repeatedly emphasized the depth of ongoing U.S. support for South Korea, Japan and other allies in the region.

Future events slated for the coming months are expected to feature other high-level dignitaries. In May, the initiative’s launch featured David Beasley, the executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization.

Away from Mr. Pompeo‘s prepared remarks, Saturday’s event featured panel discussions in which former high-level U.S., South Korean and Japanese diplomats exchanged views with the former secretary of state.

Former U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Abe Nobuyasu was among the dignitaries on the Japanese panel, while former South Korean Minister of Unification Kim Yeon-chul and longtime South Korean diplomat Ho-Jin Lee were among the dignitaries on the South Korean panel.

The American panel featured former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Congressman Dan Burton, as well as former Assistant Secretary of State fo East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill and former CIA official and longtime U.S. diplomatic advisor Joseph DeTrani.

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Pompeo didn’t know about about Milley’s talks with China

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley didn’t tell then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien about his calls with China’s military during the final months of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a report.

Pompeo and O’Brien also were unaware of any intelligence that China might suspect a Trump-ordered US attack, as was reportedly the reason for unusual assurances conveyed by Milley, Fox News reports.

Milley, the highest-ranking US military officer, allegedly told his Chinese counterpart that he would provide a heads-up if Trump ordered an attack on China.

“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley allegedly told Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army on Oct. 30, which critics called a stunning move that undermines civilian control of the military.

Milley called again on Jan. 8, two days after a wild mob stormed the US Capitol to disrupt certification of President Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. The calls are described in a book due for release next week by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Biden on Wednesday stood by Milley, saying “I have great confidence in General Milley,” and the general’s office said in a statement that Milley “regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia.”

“His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” the statement said. “All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”

Mike Pompeo said he was unaware of Mark Milley’s January phone calls to China.
Patrick Semansky/AP

Milley on Friday told reporters the conversations were “routine calls in order to discuss issues of the day, to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case, in order to ensure strategic stability.”

Mark Esper, secretary of defense at the time of the October call, reportedly was aware of the pre-election outreach to China. But Christopher Miller, the acting defense secretary at the time of the second call, said that Milley didn’t get his sign-off and that it “represents a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination by the Nation’s top military officer.”

Milley previously was accused of undermining civilian control of the military by resisting Trump’s effort to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan before he left office on Jan. 20. That effort ultimately was scuttled by Milley, who reportedly enlisted the help of O’Brien and Miller to plead with Trump to change his mind.

Acting Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson, left, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and others, stand as an Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goble, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
Milley also reportedly didn’t tell national security adviser Robert O’Brien. (left) about the conversations.
Alex Brandon/AP

Axios reported that National Security Agency intercepts indicated that Afghan officials believed US military leaders would resist Trump’s exit plans and that a US official who had spoken with Milley told an Afghan official that Milley had no confidence in the civilian leadership of the Pentagon.

Republicans are expected to grill Milley on the reported back-channel with China when he testifies on Sept. 28 before a Senate committee about Biden’s chaotic pullout from Afghanistan.

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Republican Trust Gives Top Positions to Mike Pompeo, Chris Christie and Karl Rove

More RINOs given positions in the Uniparty Establishment.

The Conservative Treehouse reports that another Republican entity is tying itself to RINOs.

The National Republican Redistricting Trust (NRRT), in an announcement shared first with Fox News, said that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will serve as national co-chairs of the organization, with longtime GOP strategist Karl Rove joining the group in the role of senior adviser.

NRRT presidcent and executive director Adam Kincaid highlighted that Pompeo and Christie “will be tremendous assets as we raise the resoures needed to fight back against the left’s attempts to sue to blue.”

TRENDING: The Gateway Pundit Announces: AMERICAN GULAG – The Informational Website on the Jan. 6 Political Prisoners

Although the verdict is out on Pompeo, Governor Christie is a piece of work.

Revealed: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Betrayed President Trump – Recommended FBI Director Chris Wray

Karl Rove is also a RINO of the highest order.

“A RINO of the Highest Order – A Pompous Fool” — Donald Trump’s Latest Smackdown of Karl Rove is One for the Ages

This National Republican Redistricting Trust (NRRT) has shown that they side with elites and not Americans and based on their nominations, should never be trusted.

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Christie, Pompeo to Co-chair Republican Redistricting Group

The National Republican Redistricting Trust (NRRT) announced Thursday that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would help lead the organization as co-chairs. This move comes as both Republicans and Democrats prepare for coming battles over redistricting in the wake of over a year of partisan debate over election laws.

NRRT describes its mission as “coordinat[ing] the GOP’s 50-state redistricting effort.” The group is very new, having been formed in 2017 as a response to the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). Both groups formed with the intention of preparing for the first redistricting since President Barack Obama.

On its landing page, NRRT explains its fears should Democrats take the upper hand in redistricting.

“Democrats will stop at nothing to gerrymander Democrats into permanent majorities,” it warns. “[Democrats] believe the courts should pick the winners and losers in our elections and that the ultra-liberal representatives they put into office will pass their radical left-wing agenda.”

Turning to its newly appointed co-chairs, the organization says, “Governor Chris Christie and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo know how important it is that we fight back against the Democrats’ nationwide power grab.”

Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist, will also be working with NRRT as an adviser.

Democrats, who have since before the 2020 election accused Republicans of voter suppression, consider controlling redistricting to be extremely important. To many Democrats, redistricting is only one of many ways that Republicans are trying to suppress the votes of minorities.

One such concern came from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), sponsor of the controversial “For the People” elections bill. The bill would give an unelected federal panel the ability to approve or reject state redistricting schemes with a majority vote.

Because of opposition from Republicans, Merkley saw a great risk of the legislation being filibustered. In a CBS interview, Merkley warned that Democrats must abolish the filibuster to pass the bill or Republicans would bring about an “election Armageddon.”

Other Democrats—like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)—have compared Republican election efforts to a kind of “new Jim Crow.”

Democrats warn that voter ID requirements and restrictions on mail-in and absentee ballots are a thinly disguised attempt to suppress the votes of minorities.

Republicans, meanwhile, have expressed concerns that ongoing Democratic election legislation efforts constitute a power grab from the party and from the federal government.

On the Senate floor before its August recess, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) objected to the federal redistricting committee in the For the People Act. He argued that the Founders knew that redistricting would be abused. He pointed out that the word “gerrymander” was derived from the skewed districts created by Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry. Cruz states that although redistricting on partisan grounds is bad, the same would happen in an appointed committee and would be worse since citizens would not be able to vote them out.

At an emergency session of the House on Aug. 24, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused Democrats of trying to “rig an election” with their ongoing legislative efforts.

This round of redistricting will be the first since the Supreme Court shot down a major provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The provision required certain states—mostly Southern states—to get federal preclearance before changing election laws. In 2013, in the case of Shelby v. Holder, the Supreme Court ruled that provision to be unconstitutional.

In the wake of this decision, and in the wake of widespread skepticism about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, many states with Republican legislatures that were formerly required to get federal preclearance have now moved to put in place stricter election laws.


Joseph Lord is a Congressional reporter for The Epoch Times who focuses on the Democrats. He got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.

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Mike Pompeo woos GOP supporters in New Hampshire, eyes 2024 run

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is courting Republican voters in New Hampshire, building the foundation for a 2024 presidential campaign in the early primary state undaunted by former President Donald Trump’s hints that he’ll join the race.

Mr. Pompeo hit the ground in the Granite State on Tuesday and ramped up his outreach to key Republican constituencies necessary to compete in what is traditionally the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

He huddled with members of the New Hampshire GOP, toured defense and aerospace manufacturer TRM Microwave, and participated in the Club for Growth’s first forum in a national campaign focused on school choice.

When he took the stage at the conservative Club’s education-focused forum, he noted that a former secretary of state’s presence might seem “odd,” but he joked that his experience as a fifth grade Sunday school teacher prepared him for America’s top diplomatic post.

Mr. Pompeo criticized President Biden’s strategy for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan before pivoting to domestic policy in remarks hitting notes that had the sound of a 2024 stump speech under development.

“There is nothing, there was no threat — not the Chinese Communist Party, not [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, not the time I met, spent with Chairman Kim in North Korea — there is nothing more likely to undermine our way of life here in the United States than our failure to educate the next generation,” Mr. Pompeo said. “It’s not a close call. It’s not a close call and we are on the cusp of losing it.”

Mr. Pompeo is among a crowd of Republicans who are eyeing 2024 and wondering if the formidable Mr. Trump will run for a second term at age 78.

Mr. Pompeo has not committed to running for president but has hinted at a potential run if Mr. Trump did not pursue another term in office. Asked by Fox News’s Sean Hannity in March if he would consider running if Mr. Trump did not, Mr. Pompeo said, “I’m always up for a good fight.”

On paper, Mr. Pompeo looks like a contender. He’s a former Army captain, congressional member and served as Mr. Trump’s CIA director and then secretary of state.

He documented his trip through New Hampshire on Instagram and Twitter, where he posted photos of his meetings with captions providing reminders of his resume as a businessman and Kansan away from Washington, D.C., where he was a lawmaker and head of the CIA and State Department.  

He noted on social media that his trip to TRM Microwave in Bedford was akin to “the manufacturing businesses I led in Kansas,” as the company made “real stuff.”

Mr. Pompeo also got involved in state-level politicking and targeted a local audience with his messaging. He endorsed Linda Camarota ahead of a September special election for a state representative seat, and earlier this year he appeared at a virtual fundraiser for another state-level candidate.

Instead of trashing Mr. Biden’s foreign policy on Fox News — where Mr. Pompeo is a contributor — he sat for an interview with New Hampshire’s WMUR and defended Mr. Trump’s approach to Afghanistan.

Mr. Pompeo’s efforts to develop in-roads with influential New Hampshire conservatives could prove useful in developing his own roster of surrogate defenders against critics seeking to ground his future political aspirations before they take flight.

As chaotic scenes from Afghanistan spread in August, Mr. Pompeo weathered criticism about the Trump administration’s negotiations with the Taliban. Some of the sharpest criticism came from John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser who later became an outspoken Trump critic.

Ahead of the 2024 campaigns, Mr. Pompeo is poised to play a role in the GOP’s efforts to retake Congress in next year’s midterm elections. He launched “CAVPAC,” an advocacy group designed to help elect Republicans. He endorsed former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto earlier this week.

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Mike Pompeo Sets the Record Straight After Biden Press Conference From Yesterday – RedState

Damn, do I miss Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo, who served in the Trump administration as both the C.I.A. Director and Secretary of State always brought a quiet reassuring force any time he was representing this country either in a foreign capital or in media appearances. From the outside looking in, the former Secretary of State also seemed to have the best working relationship with Donald Trump of all the cabinet officials and was able to smooth out some of the Presidents IN YOUR FACE rough edges.

Trump and Pompeo left a situation in Afghanistan to the Biden team that had kept an uneasy peace, and with no Americans having been killed in combat in the year before Biden stumbled his way into the White House. We all know what has happened in the past two weeks to that plan that Team Joe had inherited and was abandoned with the chaos that has ensued.

After Joe Biden limped to the podium yesterday after 13 American military personal were killed at the Kabul airport and took the opportunity to blame the previous administration for this mess, Mike Pompeo was given the opportunity to respond this morning on America’s Newsroom. He made sure to set the record straight.

Bill Hemmer asked what the former S.O.S. thought of how Biden laid out the deal he inherited from the Trump team. Pompeo laid it out in clear terms…

Bill, as for the deal we were very clear from the beginning with the Taliban we were negotiating with the Afghan government also we had to deal with them too, we weren’t just talking to the Taliban. We were clear with the Taliban, we had this understanding that you’re going to live up to it and we had a conditions-based withdrawal plan and we executed that. We whittled down from 15,000 to a little over 2500 troops and the last 13 months of our administration and we didn’t have a single American attack or an American killed and it wasn’t because of a piece of paper that was a set of understandings but it was because the Taliban understood that if they acted against Americans and took actions that were inconsistent with what they promised when they pushed on us in the Trump administration we responded with American power and American might. We made clear to the Taliban that deterrence was going to be maintained and the difference is with the Biden administration is that when the Taliban pushed they withdrew and showed weakness.

Here is the simple breakdown.

*The force that Biden, Inc. inherited was just over 2,500 troops and was giving air support to the Afghan army to keep the Taliban at bay. This obviously worked for the last 13 months of the Trump administration, with the Afghan army holding most of the country and no U.S. serviceperson dying during that 13 months.

*The Taliban also knew that the Trump team had no problem dropping the M.O.A.B. (Mother Of All Bombs) as they had in 2017 against I.S. in Afghanistan and might be willing to do it again MOAB strike: US bombing of IS in Afghanistan ‘killed dozens if things got out of hand.

*Pompeo indicates that once the Taliban pushed the boundaries of the agreement and the Biden team rolled over it was game on. This is why it looks like Joe Biden and his team were caught off guard by how fast the Afghan army fell and the Taliban advanced. In reality, this was always going to be the outcome if the Taliban was not kept to clear lines that the Trump team had given them. The only person truly surprised by this was Joe Biden.

This has been a mess of historic proportions and it is shameful how fast this situation has deteriorated and it did not need to happen. Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo had made the best of a bad situation and the Biden team has just half-assed this and this is the result.

God help us all.

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Afghanistan: Mike Pompeo Defends Withdrawal Agreement

To hear some observers tell it, after President Joe Biden, the men most responsible for the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan right now are former President Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

In an interview with National Review, Pompeo rejected the charge outright.

“It is nonsense,” he said. “It is, in fact, nonsense on stilts.”

Two successive Trump national-security advisers are among those who have leveled this accusation. H. R. McMaster, who served as Trump’s first national-security adviser, accused Pompeo of signing a “capitulation agreement” with the Taliban which all but guaranteed the Afghan military and government’s eventual collapse. “The Taliban didn’t

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WashPost’s Max Boot on Afghanistan: Trump and Pompeo ‘Need to Shut Up’

Does it make Max Boot feel big to tell a former President of the United States to “shut up?” The Washington Post columnist and Never Trumper did just that on today’s Morning Joe.

In his recent Washington Post column, Boot argued that neither Trump, nor Mike Pompeo nor Mike Pence, have any right to criticize Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal since they set it in motion.

Mika Brzezinski teed up Boot by quoting former Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster recently saying, “our Secretary of State [Pompeo] signed a surrender agreement with the Taliban. This collapse goes back to the capitulation agreement of 2020. The Taliban didn’t defeat us. We defeated ourselves.”

Boot summed up his position by trumpeting:

“People like Trump and Pompeo just need to find a good opportunity right now to just shut up and stop criticizing something that they set in motion.”

Yet Boot admitted that Biden has “very badly bungled” the withdrawal. Whatever Trump’s responsibility for setting the withdrawal in motion, certainly he and others are entitled to criticize Biden’s inept handling of it. Nobody stopped Obama from criticizing Trump after he suggested ISIS was a “JV team.” CNN and MSNBC wanted more Obama criticism of Trump, always more. 

Boot doesn’t seem ashamed to pontificate although the Al Jazeera types think he’s a horrible neocon who should shut up and go to “disgraced pundit purgatory.”  

Joe Scarborough seconded Boot’s position, saying that only people who criticized Trump’s withdrawal plan are now entitled to criticize Biden’s botching of it. 

Washington Post columnist Max Boot saying that Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo “just need to find a good opportunity right now to just shut up and stop criticizing” Biden’s mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal was sponsored in part by TD Ameritrade.

Here’s the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:43 am EDT

MAX BOOT: I mean, it’s — you know, we really redefine chutzpah for Donald Trump, and Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence to suddenly be claiming that they’re outraged by the horrors of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, because they’re the ones who set this in motion

. . . 

They set this in motion, and they have no right, no standing whatsoever right now, to criticize what is happening. And, you know, badly as it’s been going, and it’s improving a little bit, but it’s been, obviously, a very badly bungled execution. But I don’t think anybody who watched the incompetence of the Trump administration over four years could possibly imagine that Donald Trump would have handled this any better. 

. . . 

JOE SCARBROROUGH: There are a lot of Republicans in Congress that criticized Donald Trump for trying to make peace with the Taliban. They have room to talk right now. But you [referring to people who supported Trump’s withdrawal plan], as a 100% Trump apologist, you have no room to talk.

. . . 

BOOT: Right. And people like Trump and Pompeo just need to find a good opportunity right now to just shut up and stop criticizing something that they set in motion. 

. . . 

These are the folks that sent the airplane into a nose dive and they can’t now be criticizing the crash that occurred subsequently.

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