- Mike Pompeo claimed he and former President Donald Trump were “tough” with Russia.
- Asked by Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” whether Pompeo believed Trump handled Russia well, Pompeo defended the former president.
- “I’m proud of the work we did there,” he said. “It was good work.”
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Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended former President Donald Trump and his handling of Russia, saying he’s proud of the work the two did during his tenure as secretary of state.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Pompeo about various human-rights violations Russia stands accused of.
Alexei Navalny, for example, claims he was poisoned by the Kremlin, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident. Russian President Vladimir Putin once posited that Navalny had poisoned himself, an idea Navalny mocked.
Putin’s opponents have routinely been poisoned. Novichok, the same nerve agent Navalny ingested, had previously been used to poison other Kremlin dissidents. Some of Putin’s critics have been killed. When asked whether he was a killer, Putin laughed and never answered the question directly.
“With respect to human rights, I – we take a backseat to no one,” Pompeo said in response to a question from Wallace on Trump’s handling of Russia. “I heard Secretary [Anthony] Blinken talk about the work they’re doing to try and convince the Europeans to stand alongside us on human-rights violations in China and the work that they’ve done defending human rights against Russian abuses. We were tough there too, Chris.”
“I’m proud of the work we did there,” Pompeo added. “It was good work. It was serious work and it made a difference.”
Trump and Putin had a suspiciously close relationship that has frequently raised eyebrows among critics and politicians. The US president, has, for example, praised Putin and absolved him of all accusations related to interference in the 2016 election, despite intelligence reports clearly implicating Russia.
And just days ago, Trump once again reiterated his claim that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election, adding that he trusts Russia more than US intelligence.
Trump has previously brushed off allegations characterizing Putin as a killer, and he’s also stayed quiet on Navalny’s claim that the Russian president poisoned him.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has outright called Putin a killer.